Dr Mark Jonathan Beech, Head of Archaeology: Al Dhafra & Abu Dhabi from the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi), shows His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Rulers’s Representative in Al Dhafra, and his two sons, HH Sheikh Hazza bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Yas bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, around the Sir Bani Yas Church and Monastery – 17 June 2019.
Interview with Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap at the inauguration of the Sir Bani Yas Church and Monastery – 13 June 2019
#wam_video | Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap :It is the second time in the UAE. This reminds me of what has been discussed before regarding tolerance approach established by the Founder Fther the late Sheikh Zayed and sustained now as the #Year_of_Tolerance pic.twitter.com/2PGMJVBhwP
— WAM News / English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) June 13, 2019
DCT Abu Dhabi – 13 June 2019
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. بحضور معالي الشيخ نهيان بن مبارك آل نهيان، وزير التسامح، تم تدشين موقع كنيسة ودير صير بني ياس، والذي يعد أول موقع مسيحي يتم اكتشافه في الدولة بالتزامن مع #عام_التسامح. وحضر الافتتاح كلاً من معالي محمد خليفة المبارك، رئيس دائرة الثقافة والسياحة – أبوظبي، وسعادة سيف سعيد غباش، وكيل الدائرة ، وعدد من الخبراء بالآثار والتراث والإعلاميين ورجال الدين. لاقى الموقع الأثري حين العثور عليه أول مرة، باهتمام كبير من قبل المغفور له بإذن الله، الشيخ زايد بن سلطان آل نهيان، طيب الله ثراه، نظراً إلى قيمته التراثية والثقافية العميقة، باعتباره دليلاً تاريخياً هاماً وجزءاً من التراث الحضاري للدولة. ويؤكد افتتاح الدير على قيم #عام_التسامح_2019، إذ يعود الموقع بتاريخه إلى ما بين القرنين السابع والثامن الميلادي، أي بعد انتشار الإسلام عبر أرجاء المنطقة، مبرهناً بذلك قيم التسامح وقبول الأديان الأخرى التي تحلّى بها سكّان المنطقة منذ قرون مضت. HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, inaugurated the Church and Monastery site on Sir Bani Yas Island, the first Christian site discovered in the UAE in celebration of the #YearofTolerance2019. Attended by HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi and HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, as well as conservators, archaeologists, heritage experts, media professionals and clerics. When the ancient site was first discovered, it received great attention from the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, due to the great significance and value it holds as a historic part of the UAE’s cultural heritage. It is fitting that the official inauguration of this landmark comes during the #YearofTolerance2019, as the archaeological evidence dates it back to 7th – 8th centuries AD, proving the existence of Christianity after the arrival of Islam in the region, which stands as a clear indication of the tolerance and acceptance of other religions in our lands going back centuries.
The National – 13 June 2019
The UAE’s oldest Christian site reopens to the public
Gulf News – 13 June 2019
UAE’s oldest Christian site opened on Sir Bani Yas
Sharjah TV News – 13 June 2019
نهيان بن مبارك يدشن موقع كنيسة ودير صير بني ياس
Dubai TV – Akhbar Al Emirat – 13 June 2019 – about Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan’s inauguration of the Sir Bani Yas Church and Monastery
BBC World Service Radio, 4 April 2019
Listen to this interview with Peter Magee (Head of Archaeology, Historic Environment Department, Department of Culture and Tourism) discussing the results of our recent archaeological excavations on Marawah Island.
DCT @ Instagram, 2 April 2019
Click here to see the video about our recently completed Marawah excavations.
Podcast – Dr Mark Beech – The UAE’s Coastal Heritage – Palaeontological Discoveries
Listen to this podcast released by the Department of Culture and Tourism about some of the interesting palaeontological discoveries we have made in Abu Dhabi, including a broader discussion of fossils discovered in Arabia and elsewhere.
Films of the presentations at the Archaeology 2018 conference held in Al Ain from 26-27 March 2018 (published on 10 April 2018).
Session 1: Palaeoenvironment and Early Human Settlement
Title: When Elephants walked in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region: new evidence for a series of Late Miocene Proboscidean trackways
Presenter: Mark Beech
Session 2: The Neolithic in the UAE
Title: Neolithic camel hunters of Baynunah (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Presenter: Terry O’Connor and Marjan Mashkour
Session 2: The Neolithic in the UAE
Title: Recent archaeological excavations at MR11, Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Presenter: Richard Cuttler and Mark Beech
Session 9: From the late Pre-Islamic to the Recent Past
Title: Broken Pot Sherds on a Desert Island: Pottery Analysis from the Saadiyat Coastal Heritage Project, 2015-17
Presenter: Mark Beech and Mai Hareb Al Mansoori
Film of our visit to Qasr Al Muwaiji during the Archaeology 2018 conference in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE – (27 March 2018) – video: Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT)
Film of our visit to Al Jahili during the Archaeology 2018 conference in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE – (27 March 2018) – video: Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT)
Film of our visit to the Qattara Arts Centre and archaeological site during the Archaeology 2018 conference in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE – (27 March 2018) – video: Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT)
Nice film clip with some of the highlights of the recent Archaeology 2018 conference held in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE – (26-28 March 2018) – video: Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT)
Launch of the new Abu Dhabi Cultural Portal at Manarat Al Saadiyat (27 February, 2018) – video: Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT)
Introducing #AbuDhabiCulture, an online portal for discovering, exploring and learning more about the cultural heritage, history and traditions of the UAE. Find out more at https://t.co/gH9M0d9PcC pic.twitter.com/Dhel6EqfXx
— Abu Dhabi Culture (@AbuDhabiCulture) February 27, 2018
أطلق معالي #محمد_المبارك رئيس #دائرة_الثقافة_والسياحة – أبوظبي وسعادة #سيف_غباش المدير العام للدائرة، المنصة الرقمية #ثقافة_أبوظبي في #منارة_السعديات وتتضمن موقع إلكتروني ووسائل تواصل اجتماعي بالإضافة إلى تطبيق للأجهزة الذكية.
.@AbuDhabiCulture #AbuDhabiCulture #InAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/uY4OZbL2ez
— فرسان الإمارات (@Forsan_UAE) February 28, 2018
Working at TCA Abu Dhabi – new promo film launched on TCA’s Linkedin web page (21 June 2017) – video: TCA Abu Dhabi.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, and Christian Bishops of the Gulf visit the Church and Monastery on Sir Bani Yas Island (17 January 2017) – video: WAM Emirates News Agency.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, and Christian Bishops of the Gulf visit the Church and Monastery on Sir Bani Yas Island (17 January 2017) – video: WAM (Emirates News Agency).
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, and Christian Bishops of the Gulf visit the Church and Monastery on Sir Bani Yas Island (17 January 2017) – video: TCA Abu Dhabi.
Deciphering archaeological clues on Delma island (22 June 2015)
A 7,000-year-old site on Dalma Island, which was first excavated in 1993, holds clues about the people who lived there and their relations with settlements along the Gulf coast. An interview with me at our recent excavations of the Ubaid-related site in April 2015, carried out by The National newspaper.
Abu Dhabi TV Interview (October 2014)
Mohammed Amer Al Neyadi and Dr Mark Jonathan Beech from the Historic Environment Department at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) are interviewed by Abu Dhabi TV about the latest paleontological and archaeological discoveries made in Al Gharbia in October 2014.
Abu Dhabi Awards (11 March 2014)
Attended the Abu Dhabi Awards ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel. Peter Hellyer, previously Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS), received one of the awards. I briefly feature in the short film clip which introduced Peter prior to him being presented with the Abu Dhabi Award by H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, and Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
In the Land of the Ichthyophagi: The Archaeology of Abu Dhabi’s Coast & Islands (5 February 2014)
Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLP4PXSNtiU&t=2423s and click on play to see the public lecture I gave at New York University Abu Dhabi on the 5th February 2014. Total duration: 81 minutes.
Life on the Baynunah River: Abu Dhabi 7 Million Years Ago (16 January 2014)
Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnDjQmXXFF0 and click on play to see the public lecture given by Faysal Bibi at New York University Abu Dhabi Downtown Campus on the 16th January 2014. Following a brief introduction by Dr Phillip Kennedy, I introduce Faysal to the audience. Total duration: 60 minutes.
From Pearls to Oil (14 October 2012)
Go to https://youtu.be/P5pDnz0TyhI and click on play to see David Heard, the author of ‘From Pearls to Oil’, in conversation with Mark Beech (Cultural Landscape Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority), Nick Cochrane-Dyet (Special Advisor, BP Abu Dhabi), and Philip Kennedy (Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYUAD).
Between Tradition and 21st Century (2012)
I appear several times in this film produced by Explora Films for the National Geographic Channel Network.
HOME MADE MOVIES
Kuwaiti Folklore evening (6 March 2014)
A special folklore night and dinner was organised by our Kuwaiti hosts at the end of the “Kuwait Through the Ages” conference. This was held in the open courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art in Kuwait City.
Wedding at Hili, Al Ain (25 May 2013)
This was a wedding of one of my Emirati colleagues which I attended at the Hili wedding hall in Al Ain. Filmed on my iPhone.
Bull Butting Competition in Fujairah (8 February 2013)
This is the remarkable sport of bull butting, which takes place each Friday afternoon in Fujairah. Filmed on my digital camera.
Traditional Ayala Dance (5 September 2012)
This traditional Emirati dance was shot at the annual Abu Dhabi Hunting and Equestrian Festival, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Filmed on my iPhone.
OTHER FILMS OF INTEREST
Some other films about the archaeology and history of the UAE, and neighbouring areas, which may be of interest:
Failaka Island: More than 4,000 years of history (MOI Kuwait News, 22 December 2013)
Sir Bani Yas Monastery (A video report on the Christian Monastery excavated on the Abu Dhabi Island of Sir Bani Yas, presented at the PARIS 4 – Preservation of Archaeological Remains In Situ Conference staged in Copenhagen, May 2011.)
Farewell Arabia (1968) – remarkable film… I love the bit at the beginning of the film with Sheikh Zayed driving his car over the sand dunes!