As part of its ongoing road-shows, the Watani programme's National Treasure campaign halted at Zayed University's Abu Dhabi campus last week. The aim was to encourage students to rediscover elements of their cultural identity and help document it on the new www.watani.tv portal. Students also stand to win prizes that will be awarded for the best submissions.
The Watani programme was launched under the directive of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the country's national identity and practices of good citizenship within the UAE's diverse and multicultural society. Launched during the UAE's 36th National Day celebrations, Watani organises and implements various educational, entertainment and media activities directed at the youth, women and children.
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Through its interactive portal, Watani is trying to create an electronic reservoir of national culture and traditions online. Anyone interested in helping document the history of the UAE is welcome to register and upload audio and video clippings and still images.
At ZU, Watani officials encouraged students to be part of the initiative by uploading images and clippings they have taken showing daily life in the UAE. The uploaded material is expected to serve as research material for those interested in the history of the UAE. For years to come the portal is expected to host the images and voices of the people of UAE sharing their experiences and stories.
"Preserving our traditions is one way of urging the young generation to protect their cultural identity and take a closer look at our past that we are proud of," said Ahmad Al Mansoori, general coordinator of the Watani programme. "Each person in society is responsible for preserving our culture, especially university students, because they are the most valuable treasures for the coming generation and the only link between the past and the future."
ZU was the sixth stop for the campaign. The road-shows will conclude on Thursday. The last day for students interested in uploading material onto the portal is the June 30, after which the winners will be selected.