Sharjah: Theatrical works of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, have received a grand reception in Madrid and Cordoba, the historic capital of Andalusia (modern day Spain).
Intellectuals and academics discussed the legacy of Sharjah Ruler’s theatrical works, including those translated into Spanish, as part of the ‘Sharjah Literary Days’ event organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA).
The event was organised in cooperation with Cása Árabe, which is operated as the strategic centre for Spain’s relations with the Arab world. The event follows a 2019 agreement between SBA and Cása Árabe, which was signed in the presence of Dr Sheikh Sultan to strengthen bilateral collaboration.
The event was held in the presence of Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SBA Chairman; Majid Hassan Mohamed Al Suwaidi, Ambassador of the UAE to Spain; Dr Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage; Bachar Yaghi, Ambassador of the League of Arab States to Spain; and diplomats, media persons, and officials representing the UAE and Spain.
Moderated by Al Suwaidi, two sessions to discuss a selection of the most notable works of Dr Sheikh Sultan were organised in Cása Árabe in Madrid and in Cordoba.
Emirati actor and producer Ahmed Al Jasmi; actor and theatre researcher Lola Botello; and Spanish writer and playwright Julieta Soria, led the discussions, which began with a video presentation of Dr Sheikh Sultan’s works including Nimrod, Holaku’s Return, Reality .. A True Copy, The Case, Alexander the Great, Mighty Samson, Da’esh (ISIS) and Al Ghabra’a, and The Book of Allah: A Play on The Conflict between Light and Darkness.
Al Jasmi said: “The theatrical works of the Ruler of Sharjah are based on historical events, not just as a narration of the past, but also to provide context to the incidents. History gives us the opportunity to learn from past mistakes, and helps us understand the many reasons why people may behave the way they do. Most importantly, His Highness very subtly urges us to heed the lessons that history teaches us so as not to repeat past mistakes which can lead to chaos, confusion and even disintegration of nations.”
Botello said: “I was very impressed with the Spanish translations of [Dr Sheikh Sultan’s] theatrical works which are true hallmarks of his great intellect. They convey a wealth of knowledge and address many issues related to the human experience and existence. I am truly honoured to participate in this event.”
The attendees noted that the Sharjah Ruler’s works had been staged in Sweden, Madrid, Romania, France, Italy, Moscow and several other countries. They called for translating more of his plays into Spanish to enrich Spain’s literary scene and boost cultural exchange with Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish is the official language of 22 countries and is spoken by 567 million people.
Speaking about Sharjah Literary Days, Al Ameri said: “Nations and people share histories. Only books can bring out cultural commonalities and present them as a platform for building relationships and cooperation. In alignment with the vision of the Ruler of Sharjah, SBA continues to partner with the world’s leading cultural organisations based on the core belief that culture unites nations and people and lays the foundation for a bright future.”
Al Suwaidi said SBA’s continuous efforts to make Arabic literature globally accessible by sponsoring international translation projects includes the Spanish translations of the Sharjah Ruler’s literary works, which had been gifted to the Islamic Library of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development, which operates under the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Yaghi said: “I am honoured to be in Cása Árabe and privileged to learn about Sharjah’s leading cultural efforts under the directives of [the Ruler of Sharjah]. The emirate has taken an effective lead in the Arab world to promoting cultural dialogue internationally. Today’s gathering – this great cultural exchange that has showcased Arabic and Emirati literature to Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries of the world – is a fruit of these efforts.”