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SMA opens registration for SAWA Museum Studies Program

SHARJAH, 15th January, 2024 (WAM) — Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) has announced the opening of registration for this year’s SAWA Museum Studies Programme with applications being accepted until 31st January, 2024.

First launched in 2015, SAWA, meaning “together” in Arabic, represents a groundbreaking initiative in museum studies.

This collaborative programme is developed by the Sharjah Museums Authority in partnership with Goethe-Institut Gulf Region, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and the University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW).

Targeting early-career professionals and students in museum studies from the MENA region and Germany, the programme aims to provide a comprehensive and hands-on understanding of museum operations and management.

It boasts a richly diverse curriculum, co-developed by Arab and German educational teams. This curriculum is tailored to reflect the unique museum practices in the Middle East and North Africa, offering modules on collection management, documentation, curation, interpretation, education, and cultural heritage preservation.

Participants will be immersed in practical workshops, project development, and museum visits in both Sharjah and Berlin, supplemented by monthly online interactions.

SAWA programme aims to cultivate an innovative and collaborative learning environment by equipping participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a significant impact in the evolving field of museology, addressing key global challenges such as social justice and climate change.

Leading-edge, multidisciplinary thinking and experimental practice in museum and
heritage studies, divided into 4 distinct phases:
kick-off online seminar
Phase I: Workshop in Berlin
Phase II: online seminars and project work
Phase III: Workshop in Sharjah
Phase IV: online Seminars and presentations
Wrap up – farewell meeting
For more detailed information and dates see program schedule
● Innovative formats of learning and practical skills.
● Theoretical and practical seminars at renowned museums in Berlin and Sharjah.
Networking opportunities amongst fellows and with international experts,
who are linked to museums on the Arabian Peninsula and in Europe by their
lives, research, or work.
● A joint certificate issued by the Berlin State Museums, HTW Berlin and Sharjah
Museums Authority.
● Access to the growing alumni network of SAWA.
Cost coverage* for the onsite phases in Sharjah and Berlin
▪ International and national transport
▪ Accommodation with Breakfast and Lunch
▪ Entrance fees (Phase I and III)

  • Please note: Any other costs, such as transport costs between the place of
    residence and the departure/arrival airport, airport to hotel in Berlin and travel
    costs for visa application in the country of residence, as well as insurance have
    to be covered privately.
    What we expect
    ● Professional competencies and experiences
    Experience of at least a year in a museum, heritage, or art sector.
    ● Professional Qualification
    BA in a museum / heritage / art related field.
    ● Personal Skills
    ▪ Flexibility
    ▪ Creativity
    ▪ Innovativeness
    ▪ Open-mindedness
    ▪ Ability to question established structures
    ▪ Desire to hold a leading position and to act as a multiplier
    ● Language skills
    Adequate language proficiency in English (written and spoken) is essential in
    order to participate actively in the programme.
    ● Commitment to the programme
    A prerequisite for the selection of a candidate is her/his/their binding
    commitment to participate in all phases of SAWA. The quality of the
    programme depends on fellow’s participation in all events and continuous work
    on topics across all modules and intense exchange, both among themselves
    and with the speakers and lecturers. Employers must provide a letter of consent
    and approved leave for training purposes.
    Application Procedure
    The application must include the following documents:
    ▪ The completed application form
    ▪ A short CV (max 2 pages)
    ▪ A letter of recommendation
    The application (in English) should emphasise the candidate’s motivation as well as
    the personal and professional benefit sought from participation.
    Please submit your application on the latest by 31
    st January 2024 via
    The PDF document should be named ‘Last name_First name_country’ (e.g.
    Please note: Completeness of the application will affect the applicant’s chances for
    After the review by the selection committee, the invited participants will be notified in
    February 2024
    For further questions, please contact:
    Gundula Avenarius
    Alya Al Mulla


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