(On Dr. Sheikh Sultan, the Sharjah emir’s passionate call for Cultural & Educational intervention to counter terrorist elements and moral decay in Arab World. Broadcast on Darshana TV, March 24 2017)
- Sheikh Sultan, the emir of Sharjah, is a celebrated historian & intellectual
- Infinitely Relevant Thoughts
- Simon Master Chairman’s Award
- Sharjah: Sultan’s Balancing & Beautiful Act
- Culture is King. Military it’s Minion
- Visible Violence. Invisible Values
- Blood Begets Blood. Hate too
- Jahiliya: Old Wine. New Bottle
- Caught in the Cobweb of Fire & Water
- Sharjah Model
- Sultan by name. Sultan in Vision and Action too
- Champion of Arabic
- History Hunter
- Past, the subject. Present its Successive Predicate
Infinitely Relevant Thoughts of Dr. Sultan
Mujeeb Jaihoon: Dr. Sheikh Sultan has shared with the world a visionary and historical point of view unheard of in the recent times. His thoughts on the challenges of Arab world, its wars, mutual disunity, moral degradation and educational backwardness are infinitely relevant for the Arab region.
Simon Master Chairman’s Award
At the world renowned London Book Fair (held between March 14 to 16), Sheikh Sultan was awarded the prestigious Simon Master Chairman’s Award, which honors global personalities in publishing field in their efforts to preserve culture. This is only the recent one among the several earlier awards he has been bestowed for his cultural and literary endeavors for past several decades.
Sharjah: Sultan’s Balancing & Beautiful Act
By successfully blending Islamic roots with local historical heritage in beautiful proportion, Dr. Sultan has crafted a unique place for Sharjah in the cultural map of the world. This balancing act has won the recognition of several institutions including the United Nations. The Simon Master Chairman’s Award was recognition for the emirate of Sharjah too.
Culture is King. Military it’s Minion
By establishing the prominence of Culture, Literature and Heritage over military might and development of mega townships, the Sharjah ruler argued for a true model of long term success of a society.
While speaking to the Arab journalists at the Sharjah Pavilion of the London Book Fair, he addressed three concerns chiefly.
Visible Violence. Invisible Values
He observed the main reason behind the epidemic conflicts in the Arab world was due to lack of values and morals in the people. ‘Relation between Arabs was amongst the worst in the world’, he noted, while adding that the ‘magnitude of destruction and loss of life in Arab world is shameful’.
Blood Begets Blood. Hate too
He said that only a value-based Education is the only solution to fight the extremist tendencies in the Middle East. He does not believe military moves and economic sanctions to yield any fruitful results. Instead, they will only ‘create new elements and fuel more attacks’. He proposed that ‘Loyalty to values as the practical solution to counter extremism’.
He asserted that parents should play an active role in educating the child about the true message of Islam which should enable them to distinguish between true faith and the misguided lot who appear under the banner. Dr. Sultan is a strong advocate of proactive parenting. Working mothers in the emirate of Sharjah has official sanction to visit their babies for breastfeeding during working hours.
Jahiliya: Old Wine. New Bottle
In the words of a true historian, Dr. Sultan contents that warring Arab tribes were zealously divided during the pre-Islamic ‘Jahiliyya’ era and the present state of wars has gave birth to a new form of Jahiliya of modern times.
As a proficient playwright, Dr. Sheikh Sultan had beautifully portrayed the revenge, violence and hate of in his work, Daesh wal Ghabra, in which he concluded that the Arab nation was built on Islam and only a return to the Faith can bring back the unity of the Past.
Caught in the Cobweb of Fire & Water
He sought the partnership of the region’s Media in building better a society as carriers of news, of goodness, accuracy and reliability. Media have a great responsibility to function as a ‘rational voice’ in resolving the crises across the Arab world.
Some years ago, when addressing a group of journalists and editors of UAE-based local and foreign media, Sheikh Sultan had enlightened them saying, “When your home catches fire, the first thing you think about is to put the fire out. This is exactly what the enemies want us to do. In other words, they have this sinister plan of keeping us busy with our own infightings”.
Mujeeb Jaihoon: The UN and other international bodies have already honored the emirate of Sharjah as cultural capital of Arab and Islamic world. Besides it cultural legacy, the emirate is also known for its educational institutions including the marvelous University City with a host of colleges.
Sultan by name. Sultan in Vision and Action too
When the Kerala Chief Minister visited Sharjah few months back, he called Dr. Sheikh Sultan as a ‘treasure of knowledge’. We had all seen the photos of their meet in the official instagram account of the Sharjah ruler. He is a generous well-wisher of the Indian expat community in the emirate proving all possible support for their welfare. I strongly believe he is Sultan not only by name, but Sultan in Vision and Action too.
Champion of Arabic
The region’s media, especially Arab media give much importance to his views. He is a strong promoter of Arabic language and has played an active role in its institutional growth and development.
The media have run constant reviews of his books which have deep historical narratives. He is a celebrated author and historian and has spent a considerable amount of his life on research and pursuit of historical documents.
Among his upcoming books is a based on a 200-year old missing historical manuscript. “I found the manuscript at a time when the entire world, in particular the Portuguese, was looking for it. I will release it in its full size in order to benefit education centers and researchers who are studying the region’s history,” said Dr Sheikh Sultan.
Also on the cards is a book entitled, I Condemn, which depicts the atrocities suffered by Muslims in Andalusia. He earnestly wishes to perform prayers at the Cordoba Mosque and hopes ‘a day would be set aside for the Muslims just as it is to their Christian brothers.’
Past, the subject. Present its Successive Predicate
I feel Dr. Sheikh Sultan’s biggest message to the world is: There is no Community without its History. The strength, confidence and dignity of a people lie in their history.
(Posted Mar 26 2017)