Sharjah: What we call memory cannot be just a fleeting moment in a person’s life. A memory holds the power to influence our lives and shape our personalities. This means our histories and cultures are a product of these memories and will continue to form and catalyse human heritage in the future.
So, will it not be true to say that a nation’s culture is a product of its people’s collective memories passed down from one generation to another? We rise on the beds of our heritage, which determine our present and are the most essential compass leading us to our future.
Responsible nations strive to create everlasting memories for their people, which will not only add value to their present but decorate their legacies that will be gifted to future generations. This encapsulates Sharjah’s constant inspiration led by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to enrich our culture with achievements, which is reflected in the 500-plus hours we have put in for the staging of ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’.
The spectacular stage show will inaugurate the year-long celebrations of Sharjah as the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2019 – a cultural event destined to be a new milestone in the Emirate’s cultural journey. We believe the final product will be a subject of passionate conversation, and an inspiration to artistic and cultural movements around the world.
The production of ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’, inspired by the Arab world’s epic anthology of folk tales, ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, will encompass all the elements that go into building and nurturing a new generation, equipped with the tools and the language of the future, while at the same time, have its roots firmly placed in the region’s collective history.
The show that has been put together by 537 artistes from every corner of the earth is Sharjah’s latest effort to remind us all about the beauty of diversity and pluralism – and its power to come together to achieve common goals of elevating human consciousness, promoting empathy and championing our shared appreciation for the arts.
Through ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’, our goal is not only to give the world a new benchmark in quality cultural entertainment; we want to create a precious memory point, a global reference for when one would want to cite an example of the strength in multiculturalism and in our shared aspirations – be it five, twenty-five or 200 years down the line.
Set to inaugurate Sharjah as the 2019 UNESCO World Book Capital – a title that brings immeasurable cultural recognition not only to Sharjah and the UAE but the entirety of the Gulf – this one-of-a-kind production is inspired by a desire to use art to connect with diverse audiences. From children to adults and leading intellectuals, the show will strike a personal chord with everyone; it has a unique message for us all, which will be relayed in three languages simultaneously; Arabic, English and French.
With the debut performance set on April 23 at Al Majaz Amphitheatre, ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ will be the opening act for a series of new chapters to be written by Sharjah; all designed to motivate new Arab generations to forge their future paths, taking from the rich legacy of their history, heritage and culture.
There is no doubt ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ will be an artistic landmark, not just here in the UAE but around the world, and add valuable currency to Sharjah’s rich cultural bank. We welcome everyone to come enjoy and learn from this once-in-a-lifetime show.
The writer is Chairman of Sharjah Media Council