Interviewing the beloved 'Sultan of Letters'

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Interviewing the beloved Sultan of Letters
John Brittas penned the special book featuring highlights of his interview with Dr Sheikh Sultan

Sharjah - The Sharjah Ruler's well-known love for the written word is the reason journalist John Brittas decided to name his book 'Sultan of Letters'

By Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Wed 1 Nov 2017, 7:10 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Nov 2017, 9:21 PM

The highly-televised interview with His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, was unlike anything else John Brittas has experienced in his long career as a journalist. The managing director of Indian television channel Kairali TV and media advisor to the chief minister of Kerala, Brittas told Khaleej Times: "I had the rare and privileged opportunity to meet Dr Sheikh Sultan when our chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the UAE late 2016."
He added: "I'd decided then that I want to interview him. That interview became a reality when His Highness visited Kerala in September, and everything that happened after that almost seems pre-destined."
Inspired and based on the exclusive interview with Dr Sheikh Sultan, Brittas penned 'Sultan of Letters', a special book featuring highlights of his interview with the Sharjah Ruler. The book was released by His Highness on the first day of the SIBF, by giving a copy to Kamal, renowned film director and chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. The book release was organised by the Indian Association Sharjah.
The book also features heartfelt articles penned by leading political, cultural and literary figures from Kerala, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, businessman M.A. Yusuf Ali and actor Mammootty.
"Given the short deadline for release, I was a bit sceptical if the book would be ready in time for the SIBF. However, we faced little or no trouble. Certain things were planned and everything else was coincidence and good fortune. Everyone we'd approached for the book immediately complied, and the book was ready in a matter of two weeks after the interview," said Brittas.
Brittas called Sheikh Sultan an ideal ruler. "Unlike other politicians, His Highness wants to distance himself from establishing economic and military might. He truly believes that prosperity and peace can be achieved through education and amplifying the might of literature," he said. The Sharjah Ruler's well-known love for the written word is the primary reason that Brittas decided to name the book 'Sultan of Letters', a glowing tribute that can be read by people of all ages, especially young children.
"I have to mention that well-wishers of Sheikh Sultan, including actor Mammootty, has penned some incredible words about him," added Brittas. He wrote: 'One can't trust a person who does not read books, and books and good friends define an individual. Given that Sheikh Sultan is surrounded by literary works from across all languages, we can consider him the most trusted ruler.'

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