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Dr Shaikh Sultan signs a copy of his book Bibi Fatima and The King’s Sons in Paris. Image Credit: WAM

Sharjah: His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Friday launched the French version of his book, Bibi Fatima and The King’s Sons, in Paris.

The launch ceremony was held at Musée d’Orsay where a work of art that pictured the character of Bibi Fatima was displayed, while a film about the book was screened, besides a documentary film that presented Sharjah as the World Book Capital 2019.

Dr Shaikh Sultan also signed a number of copies of the book in French and presented them to publishers, writers and intellectuals.

He stressed that France has played a great role in enriching culture, highlighting that he was a student of the French culture, which enhanced the cooperation and exchange of cultural experiences between France and UAE.

The Sharjah Ruler reiterated the importance of preserving culture through arts, historical books and sculptural displays in many museums around France, most notably Musée d’Orsay.

He also reaffirmed the important chronicle of the Bibi Fatima story, which highlights the historical aspects of the Kingdom of Hormuz under the Portuguese occupation, adding that the Gulf incurred the Portuguese colonialism and then British as it showed at the end of the story.

He said France had not had a prominent presence in the Gulf because of its wars with Britain, although the Persians tried their best to engage foreign powers including France to achieve its ambitions in the Arabian Gulf region. but the relations between the two side deteriorated.

He expounded the historical status of Sharjah, speaking of the ancient area Mleiha, Mlokha in Greek, which means a “spacious place.” He added that caravans used to pass by Sharjah through Mleiha to reach their destination from Sohar.

“The French version of Bibi Fatima and The King’s Sons, which tells a story of an important period of time in fine details, are authenticated with true documentation,” said Dr Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, former French Minister of Culture, highlighting the story’s most prominent characters and history.

The ceremony was attended by Abdullah Mohammad Al Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Culture Department; Ahmad Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA); Mohammad Esmail Al Sahlawi, chargé d’affaires of UAE Embassy to France; ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Mauritania, and Comoros; Mohammad Hassan Khalaf, Director General of Sharjah Broadcasting Authority; Tarek Saeed Allay, Director of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB); Mohammad Jalal Al Raisi, CEO of Emirates News Agency (WAM); Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY); officials from both sides; several newspapers chief editors and representatives of local and international media.