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Sharjah Ruler attends celebration of 40th anniversary of Emirates Writers Union

Sheikh Sultan honours Union’s former chairmen, presents lecture on intellectuals’ key role

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, with dignitaries at the celebration held at Sharjah Book Authority on Saturday
Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the Honorary President of the Emirates Writers Union, witnessed the celebration of the Union’s 40th anniversary of its establishment at the Sharjah Book Authority’s headquarters on Saturday evening.

Upon his arrival, Sheikh Sultan was welcomed by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority; Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Culture, and several senior officials, writers, and scholars.

During the ceremony, the Ruler of Sharjah honoured the former chairmen of the Union, namely: Abdul Hamid Ahmed, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News; Abdul Ghaffar Hussein, Nasser Al Dhaheri, Ibrahim Al Hashemi, the late Nasser Jubran, the late Habib Al Sayegh, and the Union’s current Chairman Dr Sultan Al Amimi.

Sheikh Sultan honouring Abdul Hamid Ahmed, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News, during the anniversary celebration ceremony at Sharjah Book Authority on Saturday
Image Credit: Supplied

Lecture on cultural movement

Sheikh Sultan gave a lecture on the significant role of culture and intellectuals in society, highlighting the historical origins of the endeavours of intellectuals and writers in Europe. These efforts led to significant changes, marking the onset of the activation of intellectuals’ roles across Europe.


He lauded the efforts of former presidents of the Union, expressing appreciation for their contributions to the advancement of culture and literature, acknowledging their deep knowledge and experience in the community’s educational, cultural, and scientific potential as society heavily relies on them.

In his speech, Sheikh Sultan highlighted the concept of culture, which he viewed as a means of empowerment and advancement in science, literature, and the arts. He then delved into the history of the influence of intellectuals and writers in societies, tracing its origins back to Britain in 1613 with the emergence of the renowned writer William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s literary works, spanning theatre and novels, caused a significant impact, distinguishing England from the rest of Europe during the cultural renaissance. This period lasted for about a century, marked by the emergence of English scientist Isaac Newton, earning it the title ‘The Age of Enlightenment’, contrasting the ‘Dark Ages’ that plagued Europe.

Subsequently, influenced by England, various European nations started to embrace science, culture, and the arts. This shift paved the way for the emergence of a group of French philosophers, among them Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and others, who challenged the societal inertia towards their ideas. This intellectual ferment culminated in the case of Alfred Dreyfus, a French artillery officer.

Sheikh Sultan provided another compelling example of the profound influence of intellectuals in France’s history, underscoring their contribution to the transformation of Sorbonne University. He emphasised their role in shifting the university’s focus and methodology from solely teaching religion to embracing diverse fields of science and art. “We are witnessing a societal power that shapes our community, and this power resides with the intellectuals,” remarked Sheikh Sultan.


The Ruler of Sharjah underscored the significance of culture by referencing the French and their stance against globalization. Between 2016 and 2018, the French populace rejected globalisation, perceiving it as a threat to their cultural identity. This stance resonated with other European nations, leading to a broader reconsideration of globalisation’s impact. The actions of French intellectuals exemplify how a culture can be safeguarded from the adverse effects of globalisation.

He urged emerging writers to exhibit dedication alongside determination, fortitude, intellect, and understanding. The Ruler of Sharjah emphasised the importance of fostering good faith and expressing sincere words, ensuring that society remains steadfast in preserving its heritage, culture, and knowledge.

“We ask them to have good faith and strong, sincere words that will make society not deviate from its heritage, culture, and knowledge.”

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Dedication to writers

Dr Sultan Al Amimi, Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union, expressed gratitude for the esteemed presence, honour, and patronage of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah at the ceremony. He highlighted His Highness’s insightful dialogue with writers and intellectuals, underscoring their integral role in shaping societal identity and cognitive awareness. Dr Al Amimi emphasised the significance of dedicating a day to Emirati writers as a pivotal milestone in the country’s cultural history, reflecting its unwavering support for creative and intellectual endeavours.


In his speech, Dr Al Amimi delved into the history of the establishment of the Union, emphasising the state’s profound commitment to nurturing cultural enrichment and fostering literary talent. He lauded the unlimited support provided by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah to the Union, acknowledging his invaluable contributions to the advancement of writing, publishing, and authorship within the UAE.

Dr Al Amimi continued, reflecting on the 40-year journey since the establishment of the Emirates Writers Union. Throughout its history, the Union has remained steadfast in its mission to enrich the Emirati cultural landscape, providing unwavering support to writers and intellectuals across the UAE. Its commitment lies in amplifying their voices, nurturing emerging talent, and fostering a vibrant literary community, all while upholding the richness and integrity of the Arabic language. Moreover, the Union has consistently strived to maintain the quality and purposeful nature of its written and intellectual output, ensuring its enduring relevance and impact.

The Chairman of the Union highlighted the Union’s journey and its significant role in the cultural advancement of the country. He underscored the UAE’s commitment, under the guidance of its wise leadership, to nurture and bolster the literary and intellectual landscape, providing steadfast support to writers and intellectuals. This commitment materialised in the establishment of the Writers Union on May 26, 1984, preceded by initiatives such as book fairs and various specialised cultural institutions. These endeavours collectively contributed to the continuous enrichment of the cultural fabric. Dr Al Amimi further emphasised ongoing efforts to enhance the Union’s work and realize its overarching objectives in the realms of culture, language, and addressing contemporary challenges.

He said: “A year ago, under the patronage of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and the Honorary President of the Union, the Union embarked on its new strategy for the forthcoming phase. The strategy aims to steer its activities towards fresh horizons of planning, deployment, and support. We believe that our beloved country is currently experiencing a period of prosperity, leadership, and excellence across various domains. Concurrently, with the media undergoing perpetual transformation, exerting significant influence over individuals’ lives, the Union has become increasingly convinced of the necessity to strike a balance between our heritage, identity, and the Arabic language on one hand, and the profound and impactful changes shaping our lives on the other.”

In conclusion, the Union’s Chairman expressed gratitude towards the efforts and contributions of the former chairmen of the Union, who championed the cause of writing from its early days and left behind a legacy of immense value.


He emphasised the Union’s steadfast progress towards contributing culturally and humanely to the nation’s cultural advancement. He underscored the Union’s recognition of the significant roles and responsibilities entrusted to them in serving the cultural landscape, with writers from diverse generations actively participating. Moreover, he stressed the perpetual need for Emirati writers to invoke awareness responsibly through their writings. “Writing, he asserted, has historically been and continues to be a humanitarian endeavour that has shaped human civilizations, advanced sciences, and cultivated identity and awareness.”

He paid tribute to those who contributed to laying the foundation for the Union’s establishment and honoured the memory of founding members who have passed away, leaving an indelible mark of creativity and altruism. Over the span of 40 years, the Union has made numerous milestones, with aspirations for even greater efforts and accomplishments in the future.

Visual presentation

During the ceremony, attendees were treated to a visual presentation commemorating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Emirates Writers Union. The presentation showcased the Union’s journey and accomplishments over the years, highlighting its active participation in numerous events and occasions.

It also underscored the unwavering support that the Union’s members receive from various literary circles across the country, particularly in Sharjah. The relentless support has positioned Emirati creators at the forefront of global culture, influencing diverse spheres of thought, poetry, and literature.