The University of Coimbra in Portugal, one of the world’s most prestigious universities, awarded His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, with an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa Doctorate Degree) in recognition of his efforts for supporting culture, literature and history on local and international fronts.
In a speech, Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad underscored that the culture of any nation is the sole constant power that does not change, no matter how its political and economic environment change.
He pointed out that the power of culture has the upper hand over the culture of power in impacting nations’ consciousness and historic memory, because human memory has a tendency of erasing the bad recollections and treasuring the beautiful and positive ones.
His Highness noted that scientists, authors, philosophers, historians and artists are the inspiring future and the eternal beautiful bright light for the sustainability of any culture.
In a speech, Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad commended the efforts of the Rector, Deans, and Members of the University Senate, aimed at supporting human culture and enhancing cross-cultural communication between nations.
"It is a great pleasure to be at the historic campus of the University of Coimbra. It is also a privilege to meet such a distinguished assembly of academics and scholars. I am truly honoured to receive the prestigious Honoris Causa Doctorate Degree from the University of Coimbra, the leading University in Portugal, and one of the oldest Universities in Europe," said His Highness.
"Some years ago, I spent some time at the Municipal Library of Porto examining the diary of Vasco da Gama’s first trip to India. More recently, five years ago, the Lisbon Academy of Sciences gave me the honour and elected me to the membership of the Academy. With today’s added honour from the University of Coimbra, my ties to Portugal are stronger and forever lasting," added His Highness.
"The in-depth study of the collected historical materials from different sources has been fascinating and captivating, and became the foundation of my successive doctoral research at the University of Exeter and later Durham University in the United Kingdom. My passion and bond with history is solid. I am still writing books about the people and the events that shaped the social, economic, and political landscape of our region. The historians among you certainly recognize that the bond between history and the true students of history lasts a lifetime, and I am a student of history," Sheikh Sultan remarked.
"The world around us is constantly changing. Our region in particular has been on a fast-paced development journey for several decades now. The development spectrum is broad and includes social, economic, cultural, and technological fields and among others," he continued.
"It is of prime importance to recognise that the success of our development efforts was the establishment of quality institutions for higher learning. The collaboration with internationally recognized universities from Europe, North America, and Australia, enabled us to discover and explore two high quality universities in a record time by any standard," explained His Highness.
"The two Universities offer bachelor, masters, and doctoral degree programmes in a wide range of fields. The researchers in our universities and research institutions are currently engaged in applied research in many areas relating to the progressive development of our societies and communities," he concluded.