Identity, the truth about what someone or something is, is what distinguishes people or places from one another.

Often considered the custodians of a nation’s or community’s history and identity, museums collect and uniquely display and communicate this through their buildings, collection, visible texts, people and programs. It is by visiting museums that people learn a lot about the identity of the place they are in.

Khawla Al Awadhi, 2023

Going through the SAWA program and our museum visits in Sharjah and Berlin, I felt like “Identity" was the connecting bridge between everything. It connects us as participants and facilitators, and it was the angle from which I was looking at places and objects while progressing through our visits to both cities.

In this paper I will be looking into the term “identity”, its origin and linguistic roots with reference to the Arabic and English dictionaries, then I will reflect on my SAWA journey in this context; where did I see identity throughout the program this year, and how different did identity look like to me comparing Sharjah and Berlin’s SAWA experience.

It is seen in the way we dress, the language and dialect we use, and the way we celebrate. It is visible in our arts and crafts, poetry and music, food and places. It also goes beyond what can be seen with the eyes. It is our beliefs, our religion, practices and our values.

Khawla Al Awadhi, 2023
       Picture 1: Majlis Room in Sharjah 2023   -   Picture 2: Majlis Tent in Sharjah, 2023  -  Picture 3: FHXB Museum in Berlin, 2023