His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah and the Honourary President of Emirates Writers Union (EWU) announced that 26 May of every year, which coincides with the founding day of EWU, will be marked as the Emirati Writer’s Day.
This day will celebrate and honour the Emirai writers and their publications and new literary production that enrich the literary and cultural arena to disseminate and deepen the culture of writing and publication as well as the literary production industry among the Emirati writers and literary persons.
His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah stressed that the Emirati intellectuals and writers are a source of pride for the UAE and that they are worth of being introduced to the world by translating their publications to convey the bright image of their country and to familiarise the world with the civilised face of the UAE.
His Highness’ words came while meeting, on Monday, with the president and members of the Emirates Writers Unions at the Sharjah Book Authority headquarters.
Welcoming the president and members of the EWU, His Highness congratulated them on the election of a new board of directors and wished them success in their duties. He also congratulated them on their new location at the SBA.
During the meeting, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah pointed out that culture cultivates thought in all its forms and that we are facing a cultural threat that endangers our identity and our culture; therefore, efforts should be united and expedited towards society cohesion, highlighting the role of the board and members of the EWU through its cultural and literary publications in instilling and consolidating the human values, spirit of society and its authentic traditions. His Highness underlined the book’s influential and effective role in addressing and expressing the concerns and aspirations of the homeland.
Highlighting the role of the EWU in preparing and qualifying the new generation of young writers, His Highness urged the EWU to hold workshops, courses and seminars, and make efforts to emphasise the importance of reading and caring for young generations, preparing them for their important role and increasing their intellectual and scientific awareness.
His Highness further stressed the important role of the book in passing on the concerns of the Arab world, saying that the writer should not be void of Arab ethics and values, especially that the Arab world today is threatened by its culture and identity, which requires the concerted efforts of cultural and scientific institutions to confront these dangers.
His Highness called for a new initiative to revive the Beirut Arab and International Book Fair because of its cultural and historical value to the Arab world and Arab intellectuals and writers. In the same context, His Highness unveiled a number of cultural initiatives and projects adopted by the Emirate of Sharjah, including the establishment of the House of Poetry in Lebanon, which will enrich the Arab arena with literary publications and bring out a creative generation of Lebanese writers and intellectuals.
His Highness pointed out that Sharjah is founding the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah, and that there is a leading Arab project, the historical lexicon of the Arabic language, which His Highness hopes it will see light within two years.
He also called on Emirati writers to adhere to neutrality, objectivity, respect for other cultures and civilisations and not to be preoccupied with quantity at the expense of quality. He also underlined the importance of optimal investment in reading and writing and acquiring science and thought.
Touching on the Sharjah Cultural Project, which regards the human being as a fundamental pillar, His Highness said that the project receives his special attention and care, adding that the Emirate also works to break down barriers and integrate people with disabilities into society as effective and influential members, a step that qualified the emirate to be “Accessible City for the Physically Disabled”.
His Highness pointed out that the development of society is derived from its reality, and in Sharjah, statistics have been made to meet the needs of each city and region.
Speaking about his first media experience – Al Yaqatha in 1958- His Highness touched on his literary and theatrical publications, and the most recent one, a new novel, which will see the light soon.
About his interest in poetry or the novel, His Highness said that he cares and writes all kinds of poetry and novels, pointing out that poetry is an innate talent and gift and not a workmanship that can be learned.
Replying to question posed during the meeting, on whether the novel can be considered a historical document, His Highness said that there are several varieties of the novel, some are pure fiction; some are a mix between reality and fiction, and some are based on historical facts. He added that considering the novel as a historical document also depends on the quantity of the historical information included and the author's adaptation of this information to be a narrative art.