SAWA Museum Academy: Cooperation Project of the Museum für Islamische Kunst Recognised with an LCD Award


At the awards ceremony in Berlin, the cooperation project SAWA Museum Academy was honoured with a Leading Culture Destinations Award in 2020. SAWA is a continuing education initative for museum personnel from the Middle East, North Africa and Germany, which developed as a cooperation between the Museum für Islamische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Sharjah Museums Authority, the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW Berlin) and the Goethe-Institut. The LCD Awards, presented for the sixth time, highlight exceptional cultural initiatives around the world.

The SAWA Museum Academy has previously been recognised by the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities, with its 2019 AGYA Humanities Award for outstanding achievements fostering the role and value of the humanities in research, education and society. At the LCD Awards ceremony, on 4 March 2020, SAWA was honoured in the category “Best Cultural Collaboration”. The Museum für Islamische Kunst has made guest appearances in Sharjah on several occasions – most recently in 2018–19 with the exhibition Crossroads – Cultural Exchange between the Islamic Civilization, Europe and Beyond. This exhibition at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is also available as a virtual tour.

“We are honoured to receive this award, which recognises the engagement of the Sharjah Museums Authority and our partners in Germany”, stated Manal Ataya, general director of the museums in Sharjah. “SAWA will have a positive effect on future decision-makers at museums, allowing them to develop in multicultural surroundings and preparing them to master global challenges.” Susan Kamel, head of the project at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, remarked: “In times in which anti-Muslim racism is unfortunately becoming an increasing threat, we are pleased and consider ourselves fortunate to have jointly won the ‘museums’ Oscar’ for our decidedly diversity-oriented project that is critical of discrimination.” Stefan Weber, director of the Museum für Islamische Kunst, added: “Global challenges can only be mastered together. We are very proud to have a partner for many years now in the Sharjah Museums Authority, with whom we can pursue new approaches and continue to build on developments here as well as there.”