London: His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has been bestowed with the Simon Master Chairman’s Award in recognition of his contribution to creating cross-cultural understanding and the UAE’s publishing industry.
The prestigious award was given to Dr Shaikh Sultan at the awards ceremony of the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, in appreciation of his local and international cultural efforts and major intellectual contributions.
“Sharjah has become a symbol for culture, intellect and heritage in the UAE and the greater Arab Region, known for its leading role as a patron of fine arts and instiller of true cultural and aesthetic values,” Dr Shaikh Sultan said in his acceptance speech on Tuesday night.
Shaikha Budour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, was present.
“Let me start by saying what a great honour and pleasure it is to be accepting the Simon Master Chairman’s Award. History has proved time and again that culture is essential in human dialogue, understanding and harmony regardless of race, religion or geography,” he said.
“This thirst for knowledge and desire to experience new traditions creates a global bond which has the potential to have a much greater effect than new cities or military power. The true drive of civilisation is based on the spirit of its people and the love of their culture,” Dr Shaikh Sultan added.
He said, “In the past, military leaders had written the world’s history through ever-increasing hatred and ever-decreasing humanity, whereas poets and authors wrote history with the purity of an artist. We are proud of the ability we have to create a cultural identity perfectly balanced between our Islamic roots and historical heritage.”
Dr Shaikh Sultan concluded by saying: “I extend a wholehearted thank you to the London Book Fair, and its director, Ms Jacks Thomas, for such a generous award. I would take the opportunity to reaffirm that Sharjah will continue its efforts to strengthen international ties through global cultural collaborations. Thank you again for this honour and I wish you all a good fair and look forward to welcoming you in Sharjah.”
The awards ceremony commenced with a speech by Thomas in which she said that the prestigious Simon Master Chairman’s Award is given to influential figures who made great contributions to the global publishing industry and in recognition of their outstanding efforts in serving culture worldwide.
“His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan is the best one to be bestowed with this award in recognition of his three-decade efforts and contribution to advance culture in his emirate, which has become a cultural and scientific beacon,” she said.
Thomas highlighted Dr Shaikh Sultan’s rich contributions to serving culture and intellectuals in Arab countries and his non-stop efforts to introduce the treasures of Arabic and Islamic culture to others in the rest of the world through his engagement in various international cultural forums to provide a true picture of the Arabic and Islamic cultural environment.
She referred to Dr Shaikh Sultan’s high academic degrees and certificates that contributed to creating a conscious and clear intellectual vision for his emirate and cultural and scientific development projects.
The ceremony was attended by Sulaiman Hamid Al Mazroui, Ambassador of the UAE to the United Kingdom; Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information (SDCI); Ahmad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA); and many other distinguished guests.