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29 November 2023

Sharjah Ruler launches his latest books at SIBF 2019

Photo: WAM


H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, launched his latest historical, intellectual and literary publications at ‘Al Qasimi Publications’ Pavilion on Wednesday at the 38th Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF.

This landmark launch of five titles coincides with Sharjah’s same yearlong World Book Capital 2019 celebrations, following UNESCO’s recognition of its leading efforts to promote books and reading.

The new book collection includes The Head of Prince Muqran, Philip the Arab, The Rule of Qaraqosh, Nudhum Al Fareid in the Legacy of ibn Mājid, and Calls from HH Ruler of Sharjah to Sharjah Radio's Direct Line (Al Khat Al Mubasher).

The Head of Prince Muqran book is the latest in the genre of historical novels that H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi has written, and portrays the important roles played by many historical characters in shaping Arab history, through incidents that occurred at many places, such as Herat (Afghanistan) and Hormuz, Bahla (Oman), Julphar (now Ras Al Khaima), Bahrain and Al Hasa.

Philip the Arab In this book, the Sharjah Ruler narrates the life story of the charismatic Roman Emperor, Philip the Arab. Marcus Julius Philippus, known commonly by his nickname, Philip the Arab, was born around 204 AD in what is today known as Shahba, near Damascus, Syria. Like other young people of his time, Phillip joined the Roman army, and soon became known as one of the leaders of the Imperial Guard.

The Rule of Qaraqosh In this historical narrative, H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi analyses the legacy of Qaraqosh who was disgraced and his reputation tarnished. Abu Saeed Qaraqosh bin Abdullah Al Asadi was portrayed as a symbol of injustice and arrogance in Egypt. There are many anecdotes that portray him in a negative light. In fact, 'the rule of Qaraqosh' has come to mean 'blind, unjust and judgments'.

In fact, he was one of the military leaders of Salah Al Din Al Ayyubi (Saladin), and one of his most loyal supporters. He was a popular commander, a faithful soldier and an unrivalled military engineer. He was the man behind the vision to build The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din and the Gates of Cairo, the Sharjah Ruler clarifies.

Nudhum Al Fareid in the Legacy of ibn Majid Nudhum Al Fareid in the Legacy of ibn Majid is one of the latest historical works of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi. Published by Al Qasimi Publications, the book translates His Highness’s research methodology aimed at dispelling misconceptions and correcting inaccuracies about the Arab-Islamic history, which were planted by uninformed scholars and researchers. The book sheds light on the biography of Ahmad ibn Majid, one of the greatest and most illustrious Arab navigators of all times, who was accused of being the traitor who guided Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama from the Africa’s East coast to India.

In 2000, His Highness published a book titled Memorandum for Historians on the Innocence of Ibn Majid. In the introduction, he wrote about a lecture he delivered as a professor of Arabian Gulf Modern History at the University of Sharjah. He wrote that he mentioned to students that the one who guided Vasco da Gama from the Africa’s East coast to India was a Gujarati sailor, not ibn Majid.

His Highness investigated almost all 16th century Portuguese historians and found out that they all agreed that Vasco Da Gama benefited from the assistance of a Gujarati guide when he sailed from Africa’s eastern coasts to India in 1498. His Highness studied Portuguese historians’ description of Da Gama’s guide and confirmed that they all used ‘similar phrases’.

In a statement, the Sharjah Ruler referenced Fernao Lopes de Castanheda (1500 – 1559), one of Portugal’s most celebrated historians, whose History of the Discovery and Conquest of India, included a description of Da Gama guide as "a Gujarati guide called ‘Kanaka’, which is derived from Sanskrit, the ancient language of India.

In the book, His Highness elaborates his ideas to presents them to new generations of readers and scholars. He asks: "Where did ibn Majid hail from?" And answers: "From Al Qusaim. Where did he live? In Julfar, Present-day Ras Al Khaimah, as the historian who copied an old manuscript in 1515 said."

Calls from HH Ruler of Sharjah to Sharjah Radio's Direct Line Programme (Al Khat Al Mubasher) Since the very first call by H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah to Sharjah Radio's Direct Line Programme aired on Sharjah Television and Radio, in December 2011, the programme’s fans have been requesting that a book be published featuring all the reflections, comments, opinions and interventions, and the fatherly advice that His Highness used to offer to young Emiratis.

In this book, readers will find an exemplary model of management for any cultural or developmental project, apart from the general management of any country. It is a model that turns words into actions, because many of His Highness’s ideas and thoughts shared on the programme, have become projects that were implemented and came to fruition exactly the way he described them.

The book documents calls made by the Ruler of Sharjah to the programme, 2011 – 2017.

Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA) hopes the book will serve as a reference for researchers and a reliable source for all media in the UAE, elucidating their role as partners in the implementation of Sharjah’s cultural project.

H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi has 172 titles spanning history, literature, fiction, theater and biography, including 60 titles in Arabic and 112 titles in 15 international languages. All the proceeds of the Sharjah Ruler’s books support the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, which aims to build a bright future for mentally and physically challenged children, by providing them with skills and giving them a chance to live in an equal-opportunity society.