At the heart of sustainability lies a delicate balance between environmental stewardship and economic progress.
Yet, sustainability takes on a deeper meaning in the cultural realm: the preservation and transmission of heritage from one generation to the next.
This intersection of tradition and sustainability unfolded vividly at the UN Climate Summit in Expo City Dubai.
Cultural Heritage at COP28:
Within COP28’s Green Zone, elderly Emirati women, draped in traditional burqa’a, graced the climate conference to exhibit UAE heritage, notably Al Sadu weaving – an art integral to Bedouin women’s heritage, recognized on the UN’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Maha, a young Emirati practitioner of Sadu weaving, highlighted the profound symbolism inherent in Al Sadu. She expressed that its allure lies in its simplicity, showcasing geometric designs and vibrant colors that reflect life in the desert environment.
Moreover, Al Sadu embodies a heritage passed down through generations, where mothers taught daughters the craft with dedication and strictness.
Roots in Community and Tradition:
Beyond its aesthetic beauty, Al Sadu intertwines community engagement and storytelling. It was a communal affair where Emirati women would gather to spin yarn and weave, exchanging family news, chants, songs, or poetry.
Maha emphasized how art transcends mere craftsmanship, encompassing the essence of collective cultural expression.
Al Sadu’s Message of Sustainability:
Bringing Al Sadu to COP28 was essential for Maha and others involved. It served as a profound statement on the essence of sustainability – echoing the collective effort that sustains both cultural heritage and the planet.
Maha likened the communal nature of Al Sadu to the collaborative spirit required for a sustainable future, urging unified action to preserve our planet for future generations.
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