The research is aimed at studying the jewelry of the UAE. The study is a part of the research method course, and it comprises several stages. First and foremost, the general examination of the subject was performed on the basis of the available literature. Next, a detailed study of Manal Al Dowayan’s exhibition was carried out in order to gain some inspiration for the project. The main part of the study was devoted to interviewing and collecting the relevant data.
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The core theme of the research is objects and memories. It was inspired by Manal Al Dowayan’s exhibition “If I forget you, don’t forget me.” In one of her interviews, the artist noticed that “it is human nature to preserve memories of oneself and memories of others” (Bose par.7). Thus, the statement has become the pivot point of the research.
It is considered critical to preserve the memories of the older generations. Hence, this research is an attempt to integrate the data collected through the interview into the general discussion about art and jewelry in the UAE. It is, likewise, important that the research findings are presented in an e-book format so that they can be overviewed conveniently by other people.
The study covers a scope of sub-subjects and topics. The key focus is put on the art of Manal Al Dowayan and the connotations it implies. The study also elucidates some historic aspects in the context of the jewelry in UAE. Hence, for instance, one of the parts is devoted to the description of the national jewelry for hair, “Tasseh”. The information about this piece of jewelry was gathered through both literature analysis and the interview. The research does not provide the detailed background of the subject; instead, it focuses on the memories retrieved from the conversations.
This research sets a series of objectives. One of the aims was to perform a general examination of the selected subject and enlarge the knowledge of the UAE jewelry. Another important target was to get acquainted with the art of Manal Al Dowayan and develop a deep understanding of her works. Finally, the key aim of this project resided in representing the memories about the core subject collected in the course of the interview.
The research has a qualitative design so that it is mainly aimed at analyzing the observed phenomena rather than statistical data. According to experts, the principle methods of a qualitative study are interviews and observations (Merriam and Tisdell 137). An interview was considered to be more appropriate in terms of collecting the essential information.
First and foremost, the research was thoroughly planned, and the key targets were formulated. After that, the preparatory stage was completed in accordance with the oral history guide – it included the composition of the interview and making the necessary arrangements (Yow 222). Further on, there was a series of interviews as it was important to collect the maximum of the relevant data. Lastly, the collected information was processed and organized in an e-book.
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Methods of Data Collection
Two main methods of data collection were employed in this study. The first method was a literature analysis. Thus, all the data available in literature and on the Internet was thoroughly examined, and the basic concepts were formulated. The next method employed in the research was an interview. The interview was preferred to observations and other methods of data collection due to the complex structure of the examined subject. Thus, it is considered that an in-depth analysis of individual memories and experience can be best performed through an interview (Seidman 5).
While choosing the object for the examination, the key focus was put on the jewelry called Tasseh. According to experts, gold jewelry is the historical symbol of the Arabian world (Hesse 47). As long as this piece of jewelry is not present at the important occasions anymore, it was considered critical to find out its role in the past.
The interview was carried out with the participation of my aunt who was initially introduced to the research framework and targeting. There were a couple of interviews carried out as my aunt could not remember all the information at once. In the course of the interview, my aunt provided some valuable data regarding this subject. Thus, she pointed out that brides were expected to wear a lot of gold items at their wedding ceremonies in the past. She also provided a detailed description of the Tasseh she used to wear when she was young.
The secondary data was collected through the analysis of literature and the information available on the Internet. It is essential to note that there are currently few facts regarding the national UAE jewelry. In the meantime, a lot of relevant data could be found in terms of the art of Manal Al Dowayan. There is a large scope of the artist’s images displayed in the web galleries. Some of her interviews were also analyzed in order to acquire a better understanding of her art’s implications. Manal Al Dowayan’s works turned out to be the main source of inspiration for this project.
Data Processing, Presentation and Analysis
As long as the data was collected, it was processed thoroughly in order to select the most relevant materials that would compose the e-book. The key aim was to prepare a book that would represent a fine combination of both visual and textual information. Thus, every part of the final variant contains a brief description of the key theme and offers a series of supplementary images.
One of the most challenging tasks was to decide on the final images. It was initially assumed to present a picture of my aunt as she was the main contributor to the research. However, it was further decided that it would be more rational if the book contained the images of her daughter signifying, in such a manner, the transmission of memories from one generation to another.
In the course of the research, it was found out that objects play a critical role in the family life. Thus, the examination of the old UAE jewelry Tasseh helped to engage the family in the common activity and encourage the relatives to share their past experience. Thence, the study pointed out the importance of memories and objects as the piece of valuable knowledge that can be passed on through generations and compose the vital historical background of a family.
It might be concluded the initially set aims have been completed. Thus, the key target resided in collecting the relevant data through an interview. It is essential to note that the interview preparation turned out to be more complex and time-consuming than it had initially been assumed. In the meantime, it is essential to admit that such objective as examining the historic background of the object via a literature review was problematic to complete due to the shortage of the relevant information available.
The research under discussion can be further extended in order to continue the investigation of the selected problem. Thus, there is currently little data regarding the piece of jewelry Tasseh so that a couple of interviews can be potentially carried out. It is essential to note that the research findings are valuable not only within the family context but within the UAE society as well. As every piece of the oral history, these findings feature an integral part of the historical background of this community (Ritchie 152).
Bose, Shreya. ” Manal Al Dowayan: ‘I have a fear of Making Bad Art, But Not of the Imaged Repercussions’” Emaho Magazine. 2014. Web.
Hesse, Rayner. Jewelrymaking Through History: An Encyclopedia, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. Print.
Merriam, Sharan, and Elizabeth Tisdell. Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation, New York, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Print.
Ritchie, Donald. Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide: A Practical Guide, New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.
Seidman, Irving. Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences, New York, New York: Teachers College Press, 2013. Print.
Yow, Valerie Raleigh. Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Print.
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