Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Monday, October 31, 2011

Eid Al Adha in Fujairah and the Proper Sacrifice of Animals

Dates

Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) will fall this year on 6 November 2011.

UAE government departments, schools and universities will receive a one-week holiday, commencing from 5 November.

Workers in the private sector are entitled to a three-day holiday that starts on the first day of Eid (Sunday), but the announcement is yet to be made by the Ministry of Labour.

Muslim Festival

Eid Al Adha or Eid Al Kabir (Greater Eid) is a Muslim festival celebrated around the world to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael, before God intervened to offer a ram to sacrifice instead of the boy.

Muslims, Christians and Jews all include this story in their Scriptures. While some of the details are different, the essential values of trusting God no matter the cost and the gift of divine provision, are commonly commended.

To show appreciation and willingness to obey, Muslim families sacrifice an animal (the size and value according to their means) and divide it—one-third for the family, one-third for relatives, friends and neighbors and one-third to the poor and needy.

Eid Preparation

Muslims are encouraged to prepare themselves for Eid by washing, engaging in the pre-sunrise prayer and putting on new or the best clothes available.

Eid Prayers in Fujairah

People gather for Eid prayers at their mosque or city gathering. In Fujairah around 6.30am worshippers will gather at the Grand Eid Musalla (mosque and prayer ground opposite the Emiri Court). At the end of the service there is an exchange of greetings (‘Eid Mubarak’- ‘Blessed Eid’).

Following Eid prayers there is the preparation of meals (making sacrifice), the giving of gifts to children, visiting and celebrating with family, friends and neighbors. The festivities go on for three days.

Eid Sacrifice

Instead of killing animals in the backyard or farm, people now have to take their animals to the abattoir or buy animals there.

Welfare organizations like the Red Crescent and the Fujairah Welfare Association have a system where you can pay for others to undertake the slaughter and gift the meat to those in need. This facility also includes making a cash sacrifice to the needy that can be directed anywhere in the world.

Humane and Hygienic Sacrifice

This week the Fujairah Municipality issued the following statement about the conduct of animal sacrifice in Fujairah:

Under the directives of Engineer Mohammad Saif Al Afkham, Director of Fujairah Municipality and Aseela Al Mualla, Administrative Director of General Services and Environment, the Fujairah Municipality affirmed its readiness to receive Eid Al Adha sacrifices at the Fujairah Automatic abattoir and Tawyeen Abattoir. Al Mualla confirmed that preparations for Eid are complete and the two abattoirs are ready. The butchers were doubled in number this year to facilitate the process of slaughtering and make it easier for the citizens. The number of butchers at the Fujairah Abattoir reached (16 butchers, 3 supervisors and 6 cleaners), and at the Tawyeen Abattoir the number reached (9 butchers and 1 supervisor). The two abattoirs were supplied with the necessary machinery and tools to facilitate the process and prevent crowding.

Aseela revealed that the abattoir will be opened for slaughtering on the first day of Eid directly after the Eid prayer and until the citizen’s sacrifices are finished. It will also be opened on the second and third days of Eid from 6 am to 1 am and from 6 am to 8 pm on the remaining days of the Eid holiday. The abattoirs serve, in addition to citizens, a number of associations and charities.

Al Mualla added that slaughtering tools and machinery were prepared under the supervision of Dr. Basheer, Chief of the Abattoir Division, who asks citizens not to slaughter their sacrifices at home and head for the abattoirs instead. Abattoirs, he explained, have health supervision by specialized veterinarians and this is good for the citizen because the sacrifice will be tested before being slaughtered to avoid diseases. There will also be an inspection team for all Eid days to make sure that no one slaughters their sacrifices outside of the abattoirs or uses unqualified butchers for slaughtering. In case they find any offenders, the person who violates the rules will be held legally accountable. Random slaughtering is dangerous for public health and ruins the civilized look of the Emirate.

On this holy occasion, the official working hours of the Health Section employees and inspectors are as follows:

The Office of Emergency and Market Control: 24 hours a day, all Eid days.

Inspection Services: 8 am – 9 pm at all areas of the Municipality.

Food Control Centre: 8 am – 9 pm.

Fujairah Abattoir and Tawyeen Abattoir:

First day of Eid: After Eid prayer until the sacrifices are finished.

Second day of Eid: 6 am to 1 pm.

Third day of Eid: 6 am to 1 pm.

Remaining Eid days: 6 am to 8 pm.

Festival Without Fireworks

The Fujairah Municipality also made this statement about fireworks for Eid but also fireworks generally:

“It is absolutely prohibited for all companies and commercial establishments to import, display, distribute, buy or sell fireworks for children in the Emirate of Fujairah.”

Eid Without Alcohol

The Municipality also stated:

“It’s also prohibited to display, offer or sell alcohol in Hotel apartments, restaurants, hotels, and clubs. Night clubs, bars, and massage centers will be closed and the specialized employees at the municipality will make sure of that through inspection. Any establishment or facility that violates this will be closed for a week and will have to pay a fine and be legally accountable. “

Eid Information

For any questions or for more information about Eid in Fujairah, the Fujairah Municipality encourages people to call their hotline: 80036222.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, information, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: His Highness, Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, attending Eid prayers at the Grand Eid Musalla in Fujairah on an earlier occasion. (Photo courtesy of Gulf News)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Latest Photos and Report on Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah

Excellent Progress

Engineer Mohammed Saif Al Afkam, Director of the Fujairah Municipality, said this week (26 October 2011) that the building of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque was on schedule or in advance of schedule.

800 Days

At the outset (May 2010), the construction company said it would take 800 days to complete.

This construction of the largest building in Fujairah is gradually changing the city skyline.

Open to All

Mr. Afkam said the new Fujairah mosque will be like the Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi, where anyone can visit and sessions are scheduled to encourage awareness.

Attraction

The mosque is expected to be a significant place of worship and gathering. It will have a capacity for 28,000 people.

Upon completion, the emirate of Fujairah will have the second largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and this will undoubtedly be one of the most popular places for tourists to visit.

Fujairah is also home to the oldest functioning mosque in the Emirates, located in the town of Al Bidyah.

Mosque Mapping

Check out Fujairah’s Sheikh Zayed Mosque on Google Maps. Since this map was created in June 2010 more than 8,000 people have had a bird’s-eye look at the area of the mosque in relation to the city.

Check the Progress

The latest photos (26 October 2011) of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah are in this photo album.

Further

Check out the Progress of Fujairah’s New Mosque, FIF, 28 October 2011.

Foundation Laid and Walls Rising on the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah, UAE, FIF, 2 April 2011.

Large Mosque Rising in Fujairah, UAE, FIF, 6 June 2010.

Related

Longer Visiting Hours at Bidyah Mosque Fujairah, FIF, 16 February 2011.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news updates, resources and photos about Fujairah are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: A photo taken this week of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preparations in Full Swing for Sword Competition at Fujairah Fort

Cultural Cooperation

For the first time the Organizing Committee for the Al Saif, traditional sword competition, hosted the qualification tournaments of the Fazza Youla Championship in the saif (sword) arena in front of the Fujairah Fort.

Normally the Youla (traditional Emirati dance) tournaments are held in Dubai but this event, several nights ago, was part of the framework of strategic cooperation between the two championships.

The Al Saif Organizing Committee affirmed that the cooperation is a positive step toward accomplishing many achievements, exchanging knowledge and skills and thereby raising the performance level of both championships.

Under this cooperative agreement the two championships will coordinate on issues of mutual interest with the common aim of reviving heritage and traditional arts, promoting Emirati identity and inspiring national values in the hearts of the younger generations.

Registrations for Sword Competition

The Organizing Committee of the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition is still receiving registration applications from participants.

Click on the ‘REGISTRATION’ button at this link and register as a ‘Participant’.

If you are a photographer, videographer, journalist, writer working for a media organization or for your own interest it is important to click on the ‘REGISTRATION’ button at the above link and register as ‘Media’.

If you can spare some hours and would like to help in the preparation and running of the sword competition, please click on the ‘REGISTRATION’ button at the above link and register as a ‘Volunteer’.

Expanded Sword Arena

The Organizing Committee reports that the saif (sword) arena has been expanded (lengthened and widened) to an area of 1600 square metres.

Earlier this week the arena was watered and unmarked (see photo).

Members of the committee and their helpers have been marking out the external lines of the arena as well as the circles.

The circles are the places where the swordsmen must throw and catch their swords. Accuracy or lack of it will determine the marks awarded by the judges to the swordsmen. The other top priority is safety. The organizers are keen to ensure that incorrectly thrown swords don’t land among the crowds in the grandstand (yet to be erected).

Opening Ceremony

The Organizing Committee is currently planning the official Opening Ceremony for the Al Saif Championship, which will be on the evening of 11 November 2011 commencing at 9pm.

The associated Heritage Village with its 30 shops/stalls and cultural festivities will be opening at 5pm.

Al Saif Programme

Work is continuing by the committee to finalize the sword competition schedule and the many heritage activities that will include a concert with entertainers, poetry recitations, children’s activities, bull butting, camel rides, horses, traditional boat building, a reenactment of an Emirati wedding and a host of other events and happenings.

See some of the heritage activities from last year in this photo album.

More details will be posted on the Al Saif Competition Facebook Page as they come to hand.

There will be activities at the Fujairah Fort on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

While the Al Saif Sword Competition commences on 11/11/11 at 9pm, the heritage village activities will start the night before, on Thursday 10 November at 5pm.

Countdown Clock

Check this web site that gives the most detailed countdown to the Opening Ceremony. At the time of writing the Al Saif Championship is due to commence in 14 days, 12 hours, 16 minutes and 12 seconds.

Further Information

Al Saif Committee Announces Fujairah Sword Competition for 2011, FIF, 17 October 2011.

To keep up to date with developments for the Al Saif Traditional Sword Championship 2011, stay tuned to these sites and links:

* Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Web Site.

* Al Saif Competition Facebook Page—Click LIKE to receive the latest news.

* Al Saif e-Booklet with competition details, historical background etc.

* Al Saif—Check this site to indicate that You Are Attending.

Relive the Al Saif Championship of 2010

Watch this 3 minute video of the Al Saif Competition to see how it is a total experience.

To learn more about what happened in the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in its inaugural year, go to this article and follow the links.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fujairah Celebrates World Food Day

There were several Fujairah groups and schools that featured World Food Day this year but staff and students from Fujairah’s Abu Jandal School made a significant contribution on 15 October 2011.

The Abu Jandal School in Faseel is a UNESCO school and the students and staff who form the UNESCO Team developed several initiatives.

Breakfast Lesson

The UNESCO team prepared breakfast for students and staff to emphasize to the entire school the significance of World Food Day and the importance of each person in a community having healthy food and a balanced diet. Leader of the UNESCO Team, teacher Monther Burmawi, said that sharing breakfast together as a school gave tangible and tasty support to the proverb, “Sound body, sound mind.”

Preparing the Packages

After breakfast, students involved in the UNESCO Team packed up the fruit that they and their families had generously donated. The tables in their classroom looked colorful and were groaning under the weight of so much food.

After some photo opportunities the team got ready to make a number of visits to people who would benefit and enjoy the gifts of food.

Variety of Visits

The UNESCO Team visited laborers on their work sites and thanked them for their efforts to the community of Fujairah. They gave the workers food and water and talked briefly about the global importance of World Food Day.

Similarly, the team visited a kindergarten and gave the children and their staff food and water bottles. The team was welcomed and thanked for their generosity.

The team then went to the Fujairah Hospital. They met the head and staff of the Children’s Section and talked about the purpose of their visit and the objectives of the UNESCO Associated Schools in particular. They then visited children and in the ward, gave them fruit and water and wished them health and safety.

Big Impact

When asked about the effect that the day had had on the students and those that they visited, Monther Burmawi replied:

“The impact was very great. The UNESCO Team realized the importance of what they had done towards the patients, especially the children. The total experience engendered a sense of pride in being members of the UNESCO Team at the Abu Jandal School, which is one of the first UNESCO Associated Schools in the Emirate of Fujairah.”

“We strongly express our thanks to the school leadership, especially the support shown to the UNESCO Team by our Principal, Mr. Ali Mohammed Yousef, who has helped facilitate activities like World Food Day.”

UNESCO Schools

Founded in 1953, the UNESCO Associated School Project Network (commonly referred to as UNESCO Associated Schools), is a global network of more than 9000 educational institutions in 180 countries.

The project was established to educate schools on issues related to UNESCO’s “overarching goal of promoting peace and international understanding.”

Related

Abu Jandal Scool on Wikimapia.

Abu Jandal School

Al Faseel

P O Box 806

Tel: (09) 2222242

Fax: (09) 2224962

Website

Take a Look

Some photos taken of the Abu Jandal UNESCO Team preparing the food and visiting different people and institutions in Fujairah are posted in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

Image: Principal, Mr. Ali Mohammed Yousef, helps prepare the UNESCO Team of students at the Abu Jandal School as they visit groups around Fujairah in recognition of World Food Day.

More Fujairah news, information, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fujairah Chaplain Peter Chase Awarded Honorary Doctorate

The Rev. Peter Chase, Chaplain of Fujairah’s Flying Angel and vicar of the Fujairah Anglican Church (St Nicholas), was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on 13 October 2011 from the Episcopal Graduate Theological Seminary, in Berkeley, California.

Rev. Chase received his degree along with two other priests—the Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg, an editor with the Episcopal News Service in New York City and the Rev. David E. Pettengill, a retired priest in Mesa, Arizona—in recognition of their significant contributions to the Episcopal Church.

The degrees were presented as part of a celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the All Saints Chapel on the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) campus.

Peter Chase

The news service of the CDSP reported this introduction:

“Chase received his Master of Divinity degree from CDSP in 1980, and since has served churches in California, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Massachusetts. He currently lives in Dubai [Fujairah], United Arab Emirates serving as Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers, serving with the MV Flying Angel, which serves the second largest anchorage in the world. It is the world’s largest seafarer center with more than 20,000 seafarer visitors each year.”

Presentation

At the conferral the Rt. Rev Mark Hollingworth, Bishop of Ohio, presented Peter Chase and gave an extended account of his achievements. Here is a summary of his statement:

In Peter’s first appointment as an Associate Rector in California, he contributed not only to the parish but also to the diocese, especially in the areas of pastoral care, church planning and youth ministries.

As Rector of the Episcopal church in Salt Lake City, Utah, for almost a decade, Peter played a critical role in an ‘extraordinary ecumenical venture’ in which the church shared fellowship and service with five mainline denominations.

During Peter’s seventeen years of service as Rector of St. Mary’s Church in Newton, Massachusetts, his leadership gifts were relied upon in the church and community alike. A list of his accomplishments and leadership positions during this period is lengthy but is marked notably by his commitment to clergy vocational development and wellness. Peter served as co-President of the Massachusetts Episcopal Clergy Association, worked as a mediator with individuals and churches in conflict and acted as a mentor to young vicars.

His commitment to the ongoing support of the ordained leadership is reflected as well in his dedicated services to the CDSP alumni.

Retiring from fulltime parish ministry, Peter Chase has spent the last two years with the Mission to Seafarers in the Northern Emirates of the United Arab Emirates. There he serves as chaplain aboard the MV Flying Angel, the only boat of its kind, serving the second largest anchorage and the largest seafarer’s center in the world. As well he is vicar of the St. Nicholas Chapel in downtown Fujairah, a ministry to expatriates in the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf.

As husband, father, priest, community leader, CDSP alumnus and Boston Red Sox fan, Peter has lived up to his name and his namesake, modeling fidelity and providing rock-solid leadership as a Christian and an Episcopalian.

Family and Friends

It was significant that the contribution of Peter’s family was recognized in the formal presentation and honor. Peter’s family—Abbie (wife), Gaelan and Benjamin—were all present in San Francisco to witness the joyous conferral, as were a number of alumni, former colleagues and friends.

Congratulations!

Congratulations are extended to Dr. Peter Chase upon receiving this honor and recognition for a lifetime of significant service.

Related

The Mission to Seafarers—Dubai and Fujairah.

The Angel Appeal, Mission to Seafarers.

Where does the Anglican Church Meet in Fujairah? FIF, 23 August 2011.

Peter Chase, Facebook. Send him a congratulatory message.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Images: Rev. Dr. Peter Chase; A trio of doctors in their academic gowns—from left to right, the Rev. David E. Pettengill, the Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg and the Rev. Peter Chase; the MV Flying Angel.

Fujairah Municipality Inspects Fast Food Restaurants this Month

Surprise Visits

Sudden inspections of Fujairah’s Fast Food restaurants will be undertaken this month.

Thorough Inspection

The municipality’s Division of Public Health aims to check the following:

+ Provision of adequate lighting and ventilation in the kitchen.

+ Overall hygiene of the restaurant.

+ Hygiene of employees (gloves and head cover).

+ Ensuring that workers are free from disease (current health card).

+ Checking cleanliness of tools and equipment used in cooking and presentation.

+ Checking that food is kept in refrigerators at suitable temperature.

+ Checking that pest control certificates are up to date.

Public Appeal

Fujairah citizens and residents are asked to communicate with the municipality’s Division of Public Health where they suspect a breach of health and hygiene standards at any of Fujairah’s fast food restaurants and when they have doubts about the quality of food that is being served.

80036222

This is the toll free number for residents to call 24 hours a day.

Related

Fujairah Municipality Building Section Undergoes Evaluation, FIF, 19 October 2011.

Fujairah Continues Rigorous Health and Hygiene Campaign, FIF, 18 October 2011.

Fujairah Municipality Launches New Speedy Service, FIF, 12 October 2011.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, information, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fujairah Municipality Building Section Undergoes Evaluation

Regular Scrutiny

Since the beginning of the year the Fujairah Municipality has instituted an integrated system of evaluation for all its departments and recently it was the turn of the Buildings Section to undergo assessment and scrutiny.

This was the first thorough assessment of the department.

The evaluation involved a different form of assessment for employees depending on whether they were engineers, technicians or administrators.

The assessment involved getting external input and feedback from consultants and engineers from various companies with whom the Municipality has been dealing.

Purpose

The purpose of the regular evaluation is:

+ To raise the overall performance of the employees and the team collectively.

+ To maintain health standards.

+ To ensure environmental safety.

+ To ensure compliance with current building regulations.

+ To keep pace with latest developments in the building industry.

Recognition

The culmination of this assessment took place in the Municipality Conference Hall convened by the Deputy Director, Abdulla Mohamed Alhantoubi.

The ceremony involved giving feedback from the overall assessment, honoring the entire team and the presentation of awards by Mr. Alhantoubi on behalf of the leadership of the Municipality.

Significance

Enhancing the performance of the building sector of the Municipality is of great importance as, in the next few years, there looks to be a great development of Fujairah city and the various towns and cities in the emirate of Al Fujairah.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources, photos and videos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Images: Top-The ceremony involved the presentation of awards by Mr. Alhantoubi (left) on behalf of the leadership of the Municipality; Bottom-Some of the members of the Buildings Section of the Municipality meeting in the Conference Room at the ceremony to mark the completion of the formal evaluation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Growing Trees and Shrubs for Fujairah

Ever wondered where all the trees and shrubs come from that you see around Fujairah?

Most of them have been raised in a nursery located behind the public gardens in Madhab.

This extensive area, sheltered by the Hajar Mountains, is divided into a number of sections—ground cover, ornamental bushes, thorn sap plants, trees, desert plants—and is probably one of the most comprehensive collections of trees and shrubs in Fujairah.

The nursery is headed up by Hossam Riead Hemdan, the Head of the Agriculture Division of the Department of Public Works and Agriculture, who came from Egypt to work for the Government of Fujairah more than 20 years ago.

Hossam oversees the 130 men who work at the nursery and around the emirate (there’s also another centre in Dibba) planting, sowing, fertilizing, pruning and treating trees and grasses for pests.

The Madhab nursery is part of the government department and it does not have a public sales division, although from the looks of things many Fujairah citizens visit the nursery to get a tree or two.

There are many mature trees around the property and Hossam and his staff are knowledgeable about varieties of trees and those that grow best in Fujairah conditions.

Take a Look

Some photos taken of the Madhab Nursery are in this photo album.

Contact

Agricultural Division

Department of Public Works and Agriculture

Government of Fujairah

P O Box 3339

Fujairah, UAE.

Tel: (09) 2244555

Fax: (09) 2229479

Email: pwad@emirates.net.ae

Location

Turn right at the Madhab Sulpheric Spring Park and keep rounding the outside of the park. Take the second entrance you come to. There is an office near the entrance. Open Sunday to Thursday from about 5.30am to 2.00pm.

Related

Gardening Becoming Popular in Fujairah and the UAE, FIF, 23 September 2011.

New Name and Facelift Needed for ‘Madhab Sulpheric Spring Park’ Fujairah, FIF, 2 May 2011.

The Flowering of Fujairah and the UAE, FIF, 12 February 2011.

Fujairah Getting Greener, FIF, 7 October 2010.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Fujairah Continues Rigorous Health and Hygiene Campaign

520 Tours

At the direction of Engineer Mohammed Saif Al Afkam (pictured), Director of the Fujairah Municipality, a food inspection campaign throughout September 2011 involved 520 inspection tours.

64 Violations

A total number of 1745 stores and restaurants were visited, resulting in the discovery of 64 violations of health regulations.

A further 154 businesses received warnings.

New Licenses

70 new licenses were granted to food shops and another 86 for general-purpose shops and offices.

102 cars that convey food were inspected and had licenses renewed.

Monthly Tours

The Fujairah Municipality said that the aim of the monthly tours is to improve health conditions for the protection of consumers and to preserve the integrity of the members of the community.

The work of the department is one of awareness raising, tightening the legal action against violators and to generally intensify inspections campaigns to regulate food and non-food items.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Images: Engineer Mohammed Saif Al Afkam, Director of the Fujairah Municipality; A variety of feta that has passed the test.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Al Saif Committee Announces Fujairah Sword Competition for 2011

Announcements

The Organizing Committee of the Al Saif (Traditional Sword) Championship 2011 held a press conference today (17 October 2011) at the Fujairah Concorde Hotel to announce details of the competition in its second year.

Those who addressed the press conference were Ahmad Hamdan, the Assistant Controller, Rashid Al Yammahi, Chairman of the Training Committee, Sultan Melaih, Chairman of the Jury Committee and Mohammad Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Marketing Committee.

Inspired by Crown Prince
The annual Al Saif Championship was inspired by His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah, as an initiative to revive traditional Arab heritage and to promote Emirati culture.

His Highness believes that the championship promotes the link between citizens and their country’s heritage and introduces them and expatriates to this beautiful sport from Emirati heritage. This ancient art, which has been practiced in the mountains of the UAE for centuries, has a greater chance of enduring and being appreciated by many if it is demonstrated in an annual competition on the saif (sword) arena before the Fujairah Fort.


Committee members today referred to the constant interest and follow up of the Crown Prince who is vitally involved in the Committee’s work to ensure they attain the desired results and achieve the objectives that he established for the championship.

Critical to the great success of the inaugural Al Saif Championship last year was the coordinating work of Sheikh Abdulla bin Saif Al Sharqi (pictured below with the Crown Prince). He drew together the committee and 27 volunteers and in only three short weeks, established the objectives and rules of the Championship, prepared the arena, a road and parking area, and developed the heritage village and its associated programme. Sheikh Abdulla was in attendance today and he continues in the key role of general overseer and coordinator of the Championship.

Key Dates

The Committee revealed today that the commencement date for the Al Saif Championship is 11 November 2011 and the final night will be on 16 December 2011. The associated Heritage Village may get underway a day or two before the championship begins.

New Features

The Organizing Committee is working on several new features that were disclosed at today’s conference:

+ The sword arena will be expanded (lengthened and widened).
+ The grand stands will be extended to accommodate greater numbers in the audience.
+ The heritage village will be developed with more stalls in order to enrich the total experience and the showcasing of Emirati culture.

Generous Prizes

Assistant Controller, Ahmad Hamdan, stated that the prizes will take the form of generous cash awards, granted by the Patron, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi.

Prizes will be given to all winners in the finals from first to eighth place.

Mr. Hamdan praised the Crown Prince’s ongoing support for Emirati heritage through keeping traditional sports alive.

Training Programme Keeps the Art Alive

Rashid Al Yammahi, Chairman of the Training Committee, revealed the establishment of a training programme that will introduce members of the younger generation to the traditional art of the saif.

The training programme will be for young men 14 and above and will be held in the Saif Arena with the cooperation of the Fujairah Educational Zone.

Trainees will learn the basics of holding and using the sword, how to be creative and artful and the important values behind the Al Saif tradition.

If trainees excel this year, they may well apply to enter the championship next year or sometime in the future.

Rules of the Competition

Sultan Melaih, Chairman of the Jury Committee, explained the conditions for participation, how the judges grade each swordsman, the specifications for the safety of the sword and other details relating to points for creativity and excellence in the use of the sword. These rules are outlined in the Al Saif booklet.

Mr. Melaih says that the committee expects a big increase in the number of participants this year because of the success in the inaugural year of the Championship. More participants will mean that more qualifying rounds will need to be conducted before the competition proper commences.

Promotion

Mohammad Al Hamadi, Chairperson of the Marketing Committee, stated that the echoes of the first year of the Al Saif Championship successfully introduced the competition to departments, businesses and the general public within Fujairah and throughout the Emirates and the Gulf.

The establishment of two Guinness World Records during the Al Saif Championship in 2010 was also a wonderful means of promotion.

Mr. Al Hamadi said that the Committee is currently securing sponsors for this year’s Championship. The successful sponsors will be announced at a future Press Conference as well as being advertised on the television channel that is broadcasting this major event in the UAE.

Further Information

To keep up to date with developments for the Al Saif Traditional Sword Championship 2011, stay tuned to these sites and links:

* Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Web Site.

* Al Saif Competition Facebook Page—Click LIKE to keep in touch.

* Al Saif e-Booklet with competition details, historical background etc.

* Al Saif—Check this site to indicate that You Are Attending.

Al Saif Organizing Committee 2011

Ahmed Hamdan

Abdulaziz Al Abdouli

Ali Obaid

Ali Yaeesh

Badriah Al Hosanny

Ghada Al Zaabi

Humaid Al Yammahi

Jasim Al Jasmi

Khadijah Al Hindi

Maryam Al Saadi

Mohammed Al Hammadi

Mosabbah Obaid

Mustafa Thanikkai

Ohood Abdulaziz

Rased Al Yamahi

Saeed Al Samahi

Sheikha Al Mesmari

Sultan Mohammed

Tariq Abdulla

Some of the Al Saif Organizing Committee Members meeting with His Highness, the Crown Prince.

Relive the Al Saif Championship of 2010

Watch this 3 minute video of the Al Saif Competition to see how it is a total experience.

To learn more about what happened in the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in its inaugural year, go to this article and follow the links.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Images: The three photos of the swordsmen in action at the Fujairah Fort were taken by Michele Ziolkowski. Most other photos and logos are used courtesy of the Al Saif Championship.