SHARJAH: His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has stressed the need to "respect the word," highlighting the importance of precise translation so that Arabic literature can be promoted globally.
This was stated during Dr. Shaikh Sultan's meeting with the participants in the 27th Conference of the General Union of Arab Writers and the Emirates Writers Union, at Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies (Al Darah) on Tuesday.
He underlined the role of the intelligentsia and literati in directing more interest to culture and literature, saying, Dr. Habib Al Sayegh, in his speech, said that 'I am the educated ruler'. I say "an educated who rules", and, therefore, we call upon you all because you are still holding on the embers in a strange time."
He added, "We seek and work in many areas of interest to intellectuals, such as poetry, theatre and cinema, and we would like all these things to unite Arabs. But, we speak through culture, and we hope that our message is true to others, whether in the East or in the West. Therefore, our recommendation is to walk together."
Talking about his writings and methods of documentation, Dr. Shaikh Sultan said that as a writer he wanted to criticise the Arabs by rendering them advice in good faith without any vilification.
Reiterating the important standing of literary people and writers, the Ruler of Sharjah said that the word is mightier than the sword, because, once said, it is strong and honest as it is not paid. He urged writers to simulate the older authors, as it takes a lot of effort to become a writer.
He hoped that today's writings are intended to be real literature that matches world literature, and, without any doubt, this galaxy of writers is not unable to do so.
As for the importance of literary translations and the need to nurture it, Dr. Shaikh Sultan said that the translator should be a writer to produce accurate and easily comprehended literature, an approach they are adopting now as it is evident in the Western translations of Naguib Mahfouz's books which were translated in a smart and literary way.
He continued to highlight the important role of translations and translators. In this context, he announced an initiative which he presented to the Union of Arab Writers for the translation of a number of the union's literary publications and communicate it to the West in an easy and advanced manner.
During his speech, he announced the establishment of the Literary Fund under the auspices of the Union of Arab Writers to play a role in supporting and sponsoring writers financially.
Dr. Shaikh Sultan also focused on the special attention and care he attaches to the African countries announcing that he has already launched a special programme with South Sudan to teach Arabic and will communicate with all other African countries.
At the end of the meeting, two poets from Lebanon and Mauritania recited a poem each accentuating the generosity and patronage of the Ruler of Sharjah in the areas of Arab creativity.
The meeting was attended by Abdullah Al Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Culture Department; Ali Ibrahim Al Marri, Head of Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies (Al Darah); Mohammed Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Director of the Sharjah Department of Protocol and Guesthouses; Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary-General of the General Union of Arab Writers, and Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union, a host of Union's members, and a galaxy of educated Arabs.