By Ismail Meladi, June 27 2000 Gulf Today

Inspired by the cultural capital of Arab world- Sharjah, a Keralite youth is developing a website ?to put in perspective the centuries-old relations between Kerala and Arab world.?

Sharjah based Mujeeb Rahman?s website will feature video interviews of prominent Indian historians with pictures of Kerala?s historical sites linked to Arab life and culture.

It will also discuss the development of Arab literature and poetry in southern India. The project sheds light on the Indian king Cheraman Perumal who embraced Islam during the lifetime of the Prophet (Saws).

Rahman has already conducted in-depth research in this field based on the works of the medieval historian, Zainudhin Makhdum, considered by historians as the Thucydides of Kerala.

Other topics include the legacy of the Hindu King Samudiri and the Kunhali Marakkars, the naval heroes who fought the Portuguese invaders. Views of the present day cultural leaders will be incorporated.

?Unlike other historical projects, this is meant for the common man, especially the youth,? said Rahman. He said the main goal was to bring the scent of homeland for the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the Middle East and also to equip the present generation with a better understanding of the past.

Rahman, brought up in Sharjah, is leaving for Kerala next week, to continue his research. . ?When I return from Kerala, I wish to relate the story of the journey from the sand dunes to the paddy fields? he said.

He said the website address will be made public after the completion of the venture by September.

Rahman, a student of BBA at Sharjah College, he had webcast live the speech of Samadani from Abu Dhabi recently.

Rahman said that Jaihoon is influenced by the writings of Hazrat Imam Sirhind and Hazrat Shah Waliyullah, well-known for their scientific treatment of Islamic thought and Sufism.