Sharjah: The weeklong exhibition, Tales from the East, organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), recently concluded after offering visitors insights into the formative works of the region’s greatest minds.
From centuries-old books to ancient manuscripts and rare artefacts, collectively valued at more than Dh60 million, “Tales from the East paid tribute to humankind’s past glories aimed at educating the public through the formative work of scientists, innovators and thought leaders that over hundreds of years have influenced current technological feats,” SBA noted.
Arab influence on human civilisation
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SBA chairman, noted: “The exhibition was a unique opportunity to learn about the power and influence of Arab and Islamic culture on human civilisation over the centuries. The exhibition affirmed the truth that acquiring knowledge is a continuous and cumulative journey which transcends all physical boundaries and can be transmitted to generations across centuries.”
He added: “Tales from the East served as a window that offered insights into the formative works of great minds, and reinforced that the true value of manuscripts lies not only in their content but also in its importance as a valuable work of preserved art. Manuscripts help us decode many unique aspects of the era in which it was written, the prevalent beliefs and values of the time, and the creativity inherent during that period.
“The exhibition bolstered Sharjah’s status as a beacon of science, culture, knowledge and reflects the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to preserve the cultural and intellectual legacy of humankind and ensure its preservation and continuity,” Al Ameri continued.
Rare Holy Quran manuscripts
Among the unique items showcased at Tales from the East were rare and early manuscripts of the Quran. Also displayed was ‘Description of Egypt’, a 23-part collaborative work of scholars, scientists, artists, and technicians who followed Napoleon Bonaparte to Egypt in the early 19th century.
Also exhibited was the first edition of Katib Çelebi’s The Mirror of the World that was published in 1732. There were also 17th century globes, and other artefacts. Visitors also got the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and aesthetics of Arabic calligraphy that spanned centuries.