UAE: Madrid, Cordoba celebrate Sheikh Sultan's theatrical legacy
Theatrical works, including those translated into Spanish, discussed as part of the Sharjah Literary Days event.
The popular theatrical works of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, have received a grand reception in Madrid and Cordoba, the historic capital of Andalusia.
A group of intellectuals and academics got together to discuss and celebrate the rich legacy of the Sharjah Ruler’s theatrical works, including those translated into Spanish, as part of the Sharjah Literary Day' event, organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in cooperation with Cása Árabe.
Moderated by Muhammad Majid Al Suwaidi, two sessions to discuss a selection of the most notable works of Sheikh Sultan were organised in Cása Árabe in Madrid and in Cordoba.
The event was held in the presence of Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SBA Chairman; Majid Hassan Mohamed Al Suwaidi, Ambassador of the UAE to Spain; Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage; Bachar Yaghi, Ambassador of the League of Arab States to the Kingdom of Spain; diplomats, media persons, and officials representing the UAE and Spain.
Emirati actor and producer, Ahmed Al Jasmi; actor and theatre researcher Lola Botello; and Spanish writer and playwright Julieta Soria, led the discussions, which began with a video presentation of the Sharjah Ruler's works including Nimrod, Holaku's Return, Reality... A True Copy, The Case, Alexander the Great, Mighty Samson, Da'esh (ISIS) and Al Ghabra'a, and The Book of Allah: A Play on The Conflict between Light and Darkness.
"The theatrical works of the Ruler of Sharjah are based on historical events, not just as a narration of the past, but also to provide context to the incidents. History gives us the opportunity to learn from past mistakes, and helps us understand the many reasons why people may behave the way they do. Most importantly, His Highness very subtly urges us to heed the lessons that history teaches us so as not to repeat past mistakes which can lead to chaos, confusion and even disintegration of nations," said Al Jasmi.
For her part, Botello said: "I was very impressed with the Spanish translations of Sheikh Sultan’s theatrical works which are true hallmarks of his great intellect. They convey a wealth of knowledge and address many issues related to the human experience and existence."
"The Sharjah Ruler’s concerns regarding history, its influence on the present and holding a key to the future finds resonance in many Spanish plays which focus on individuals and humanity, and reject violence, racism and injustice. What is striking about His Highness' plays is the focus on the tragic consequences of wars. I recommend everyone to read His Highness’ plays to appreciate the delicate manner in which topics of war and terrorism have been handled," she added.
Julieta Soria presented a comparative study of Sheikh Sultan’s plays and the works of Spanish playwrights. She emphasised the Sharjah Ruler's precise use of words to convey philosophical ideas and the skillful use of history to voice his concerns about freedom and justice. She also noted that his works reference cultures, history and mythology while highlighting the injustices caused by wars – a common theme in Spanish theatre. Sharjah Ruler's efforts in supporting the Emirati and Arab theatre.
Speaking about Sharjah Literary Days, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri said: "Today, Madrid and Cordoba's appreciation of Sheikh Sultan's contributions to the Arab and international theatre reveal the depth of historical and cultural bonds between Arabs and Spaniards. It is also a tribute to Sharjah Ruler's humanitarian values and positive messages that are embedded in his works."
For his part, Al Suwaidi said "Sharjah’s leading efforts have led to a strengthening of cultural relations between Spain and the UAE, increasing cooperation between their cultural institutions.”
For his part, Yaghi said: "Today’s gathering - this great cultural exchange that has showcased Arabic and Emirati literature to Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries of the world - is a fruit of these efforts."
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