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Sultan: A Momentous Journey brings justice to our region

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah said that history is not written with fancies nor by force but with honesty, investigation, and relentless search for the truth.

His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah stressed that through his past works he always seeked to document the history of the UAE and the greater Gulf region, and its relationship with the rest of the world. 

His Highness said, “Documenting the history of the UAE and Arabian Gulf was always based on evidence, historical manuscripts and testimonies of foreign historians who lived through the times of these historical events. This method is key to shape the future based on genuine understanding of our past and present civilisation and people. This helps build relationships based on facts and deep understanding of our roots and historical conflicts with the occupations which took place in our region during that period.”

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi’s remarks came during a session dedicated to discussing his book ‘A Momentous Journey’ at the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, whose membership was granted to him in 2013.

Addressing the session, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah said: “The book is based on highly important historical manuscripts of Duarte Barbosa, a Portuguese writer and officer.  His manuscript contains accurate information and details of the region’s people and was lost for almost 100 years before it was found in 2012. Barbosa’s manuscript is part of my own collection and I included it in my book in Arabic, English and Portuguese.”

The manuscript describes Barbosa’s sightings during his trip, in which he escorted the leaders of the Portuguese occupation in the 16th century, from San Sebastián Bay to the Coastline of China through the Gulf region.

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi affirmed that rewriting history according to evidence and views of its people is fairness to the truth that paves the way to establish strong and stable relations based on equality.

His Highness revealed that the secret of ‘A Momentous Journey’ lies in the messages that Barbosa sought to communicate between the lines. In his manuscript, Barbosa aligns himself with truth and honesty in documenting history and described events accurately, disregarding his ethnicity. Barbosa described the Arabian Gulf and the cultural and social status of Arabs and Muslims, as well as gave a detailed account of how the Arabs had lived in coexistence and harmony, maintaining good relationships with individuals from other religions, minorities and foreigners to their region, including traders, travellers and seafarers. 

In the manuscript, Barbosa illustrated the progress achieved by the Arabs in various sciences and pointed out to the good treatment he received from the people of the Arabian Gulf. He even revealed the numerous violations committed by the Portuguese and Europeans, varying from destruction, devastation and killings in the region. 

“These precise details make the book a historical piece of work that fairly depicts the people of the Gulf region and serves as a restoration of their right to highlight their significant status,” His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi said.

His Highness noted: “Without the high moral responsibility that manifested in Barbosa’s manuscript, we would neither understand this phase of history and its details nor apprehend facts as there was much confusion about several key facts before.”

His Highness believes that Barbosa’s manuscript has also treated Portuguese’s present with justice as it treated the Arabs’ past fairly during the Portuguese occupation of the Arabian Gulf.