Abu Dhabi and Its Heritage
The author addresses efforts made by Abu Dhabi to conserve its culture. The article traces the roots of some of the traditions of the people of Abu Dhabi and the significance they had in peoples’ lives. These are traditions that shaped the lives of people for centuries. These traditions were threatened when the country discovered oil. Oil brought wealth leading to drastic change in economic ways of the people. The government realized it had to preserve its traditions. The ruler of the country at that time made efforts to keep these traditions. The article further draws similarities between the ways of life of the people in ancient times and the projects the government is initiating in the region. Some of these projects are inspired by ancient ways that helped the people survive the harsh conditions of the region. Some of these ways were a peaceful coexistence with nature. This has prompted the government to come up with a project aiming at developing and popularizing renewable energy. This may seem unnecessary due to the vast oil resources available in the country. But the government is vindicated due to the limited nature of oil reserves (Heikkila, 2004). It is a way of applying forward thinking to avoid a reactive strategy when oil wells dry out.
In addition, the traditions of the people, such as rearing of falcons, horses, and camels are still valued and upheld. Camel races signify a preservation of past events that brought people a lot of fun and happiness. Mosques are still used and built in majestic ways as a preservation of their ancient religion. Furthermore, buildings are designed in a way that resembles ancient designs. This reminds people of where they have come from and the significance of such designs and practices. Wildlife preservation has also been prioritized. This is aimed at preserving animals for future generations. Some of the animals being bred and introduced into the world were on the verge of extinction. Courtesy of this project, their population has increased. This will restore the ecological balance that existed a few decades ago. The government is doing all it can to restore the heritage of the region and avert the dangers posed by civilization towards these important traditions (Heikkila, 2004).
The author is a strong believer in preservation of culture. It is evident from the documentary that the areas that were of interest to him were where tradition is being preserved. He emphasizes on a few areas, which have attracted efforts to preserve traditions. The documentary correctly highlights the efforts made to preserve and educate the young generation about the culture of the people. This is evident from the interviews and the many clips that show evidence of the efforts of the government. The author, however, fails to comment on areas where the government has failed in its efforts. He also fails to cite areas where the people have completely abandoned their traditions. There is no mention of extinct traditions that were highly revered in ancient times. The video also does not mention the effect immigrants have had on the traditions. It hardly mentions how the natives have reacted to foreign cultures brought by expatriates to the country. It is clear from this that the author was more focused on the positives of the heritage preservation approach and completely ignored anything in contrast to that. The author also gives a lot of weight to the traditions and their effect on the development of Abu Dhabi. He makes them appear like the pillars on which the economy is built. The author also appears to view nature as crucial in traditions of any society. This is clear from the many mentions of land and wild animals in the documentary. He rarely mentions issues, such as marriage, education, and other core traditions. This must stem from his believe that those are traditions that must have been archaic and in dire need of change. The traditions he mentions are those that do not bind people to barbaric tendencies that have no place in the modern society. He has only laid emphasis on positive traditions that have been preserved.
The author is right on a number of issues. Traditions are essential in the development of any society. Any society that completely abandons its traditions is doomed to fail. This is because traditions form basic tenets that shape people and give them a purpose in life. They are the reasons why societies were able to survive at times when technology was nonexistent. They helped peopled deal with their problems and provide them with food. The traditions that the author has emphasized on are worth preserving. They do not in any way slow down the development of the country. They have also opened new ways of live, created jobs, and entertainment to the masses. They draw people from different countries to witness them. This justifies the choice of traditions selected by the author. There are other traditions that are not worth mentioning because their effect on the society is negative and degrading.
Heikkila, E. J. (2004). What is the nature of the 21st century city? Planning Theory & Practice, 5(3), 379-387.