Sharjah: In a compelling address, Emirati media personality, tour guide, and influencer Ali Al Saloom emphasised the inherent human inclination for exploration and movement. He argued that people are not destined to remain stationary but are driven to travel, discover, and build new connections. "When a person moves," he said, "it's as if they are saying, 'I will establish another life,'" encapsulating the human drive to seek new experiences.

Al Saloom drew attention to the wealth of archaeological discoveries in Sharjah. These findings reveal that ancient humans once inhabited the land, underscoring its historical significance as a migratory route. Such evidence confirms that Sharjah has long served as a vital relationship for human movement and interaction, stretching back to the earliest eras of history.

This came during the second edition of “TEDxSharjahLibraries” hosted at the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), in the presence of HE Fahd Al Maamari, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Library and Information Association; HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA; Eman Bushlaibi, Director of Sharjah Public Libraries; Marwa Al Aqroubi, Executive Director of House of Wisdom; and Mansour Al Hassani, Director of the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone; along with other esteemed guests and a gathering of enthusiastic attendees.

The importance of cultural diversity

Speaking under the theme "Integrating Cultural Traditions and Sustainable Education," Ali Al Saloom emphasised the importance of cultural diversity during the session, reflecting SPL’s commitment to fostering cultural interaction among intellectual elites. He highlighted the "Duroob" programme is a journey to explore the past, understand the present, and affirm that travel and discovery are central to human life.

Al Saloom shared his experiences from visiting over 200 countries and meeting more than a hundred ethnic groups who still preserve their languages, cultures, and traditions. He described cultural diversity as an invaluable wealth, a source of strength and richness for humanity that must be maintained and promoted. He praised the efforts of GCC leaders to protect language and culture, safeguarding future generations from the negative impacts of rapid developments and reinforcing cultural values and heritage.

He said. "If we want to learn languages, we must travel to the countries where they are spoken. Language is not an end but a means of acquaintance, communication, and understanding others. While humans are part of a shared human fabric, our diversity sets us apart. We must respect, understand, and benefit from this diversity to exchange ideas and broaden our horizons."

Experience of a world traveler

Following the inspiring speech, SPL hosted a Q&A session moderated by media professional Maryam Alay Al Naqbi. Al Saloom shared insights from his extensive experience in media, culture, and travel and discussed how he adapts to various situations and people.

Al Saloom explained: "I learned from my parents, who were teachers, to understand students' needs by reading their expressions. I adjust my energy based on situations, places, and people, showcasing my flexibility in different circumstances."

"Travel is not about happiness but the outcomes and lessons I gain. The true value of travel lies in the experiences and knowledge one acquires, not just the act of travelling," he added.

Voices and advice that change our lives

Al Saloom stressed the importance of listening to advice: "Many voices around us offer advice, and we often overlook them. But if we heed them, we may achieve our dreams, especially the advice from our parents, which comes from compassion, love, and guidance." He urged the youth not to use luck as an excuse to stop working but to link luck to their efforts, achievements, and motivations for progress.

A leading platform for disseminating ideas

The “TEDxSharjahLibraries” is an independently organised TEDx event approved by the TED Conference dedicated to spreading creative and innovative ideas. The event aims to establish SPL as an interactive cultural hub and inclusive environment. It allows the audience to engage with distinguished speakers, expand their knowledge, and inspire them to work and create. This initiative aligns with SPL's vision to foster collaboration with global knowledge platforms and provide inspiring experiences that promote innovative values and principles.