Book Launch and Collaborative Event

Ama H. Vanniarachchy

Ama H. Vanniarachchy

We are excited to announce a special collaborative event featuring the book launch of Ama H. Vanniarachchy’s ‘Essays on Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage.’ Our institute is honored to be working alongside esteemed international scholars, Professor Sahar Saleem and Professor Brent E. Huffman, to host an engaging afternoon of learning and discussion about heritage preservation and management.

Join us on March 26th, 2023, at 2:30 pm at the Colombo National Museum for this enlightening event. The program includes a screening of the acclaimed documentary film Saving Mes Aynak by Professor Brent E. Huffman of Northwestern University, US, and a thought-provoking talk titled ‘Image the Past, See the Future’ by the world-renowned Professor Sahar Saleem of Cairo University, Egypt.

Ama H. Vanniarachchy

Ama H. Vanniarachchy is a respected Sri Lankan journalist with a keen interest in reporting on heritage issues. Her passion for preserving and promoting Sri Lanka’s rich cultural history is evident in her work, which focuses on exploring the complexities of the island’s unique architectural, artistic, and religious heritage.

With her background in archaeology and her talent for storytelling, Ama has effectively combined her skills to bring attention to the challenges and triumphs faced by heritage preservation efforts in Sri Lanka. Her articles and essays cover a broad range of topics, from ancient ruins and historical monuments to the role of government, communities, and global organizations in safeguarding the nation’s cultural legacy.

Ama’s dedication to cultural journalism has allowed her to collaborate with renowned scholars and professionals in the field, such as Professor Sahar Saleem and Professor Brent E. Huffman. These collaborations have enriched her work and fostered a global dialogue on the importance of preserving our shared cultural heritage.

Through her latest book, ‘Essays on Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage,’ Ama H. Vanniarachchy continues to share her passion for heritage preservation with a wider audience, offering invaluable insights and sparking conversations about the significance of protecting our historical and cultural treasures.

As a journalist with a steadfast commitment to heritage issues, Ama H. Vanniarachchy’s work inspires both her readers and her peers in the field, highlighting the importance of understanding and cherishing the unique cultural legacy of Sri Lanka and beyond.

Program Agenda:

2:00 pm – Welcome guests and Oil Lamp
2:10 pm – Introduction of the program and the book (15 mins)
2:25 pm – Introduction to the movie and Professor Huffman (10 mins)
2:35 pm – Movie screening: Saving Mes Aynak (1 hour)
3:35 pm – Discussion about the movie (30 mins)
4:00 pm – Introduction to Professor Saleem (10 mins)
4:10 pm – Professor Saleem’s speech: ‘Image the Past, See the Future (30 mins)
4:40 pm – Public discussion (20 mins)
5:00 pm – Vote of thanks (10 mins)

Professor Sahar Saleem is the Head of the Radiology Department at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, and a mummy expert who has CT scanned over 40 royal mummies. She also played a vital role in designing the museum display in the Royal Mummies Gallery at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo, which recently began housing the Royal Mummies.

Professor Brent E. Huffman is an Associate Professor and Documentary Filmmaker at the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University, US. His documentary film, Save Mes Aynak, has received international acclaim for its focus on the importance of heritage preservation.

Saving Mes Aynak by Professor Brent E. Huffman

Saving Mes Aynak chronicles the story of Afghan archaeologist Qadir Temori, who is in a race against time to preserve a 5,000-year-old archaeological site in Afghanistan from impending destruction. A Chinese state-owned mining company is encroaching upon the ancient site, intent on extracting $100 billion worth of copper located directly beneath the historical ruins. Despite only 10% of Mes Aynak having been excavated thus far, many believe that future discoveries at the site hold the potential to reshape our understanding of Afghanistan’s history and the origins of Buddhism. In their seemingly insurmountable fight against the Chinese, the Taliban, and local politics, Qadir Temori and his fellow Afghan archaeologists strive to safeguard their nation’s cultural legacy from the brink of erasure.

We encourage you to join us for this exciting event that explores the critical role of media and global trends in heritage management and the celebration of Ama H. Vanniarachchy’s Essays on Sri Lanka’s Cultural Heritage.’