His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has highlighted the world’s authors’ responsibility towards the readers by offering in-depth and documented writing.
An author’s works are a piece of their heart, their passion and human responsibility towards current and future generations of readers, His Highness said on the eve of the 70thanniversary of the world’s largest book fair, Frankfurter Buchmesse.
This is what defines the value of the content they offer to readers; The Ruler of Sharjah has underscored, highlighting that authors who responsibly engage in publishing facts and the truth do justice to history, and contribute to the legacy of the accumulation of an inexhaustible pool of global knowledge, His Highness told a group of key international publishers and authors during a dinner at Literaturhaus Frankfurt, the city’s famed house of literature.
His Highness noted that a true writer is burdened with the task of juxtaposing falsity with truth, contesting misleading knowledge with documented proof – not with authority or decisions.
His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi said that his quest for documented historical facts led him to international cultural centres and libraries around the world, where he consulted rare manuscripts holding historians’ observations and analyses of facts, which he decided to choose over trusting superficial interpretations of ‘facts’ because those are fragile, vulnerable and do not, rather should not fulfil the desires of true fact-seekers and dedicated writers.
His Highness Al Qasimi underlined that nothing compares to the happiness of an author upon finishing writing their manuscript, or of a historian when they succeed in solving the ambiguity of a historical phase.
At the dinner reception, hosted by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), His Highness signed his latest novel Baby Fatima and the King’s Sons, which addresses the story of an ambitious woman who clings to the falling rule of kings under the Portuguese occupation of the Kingdom of Hormuz (also known as Ormus). His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi offers a detailed description of social life in Hormuz, while not neglecting the military, political and economic situation prevailing at the time.
Noting that the book is a product of six weeks of relentless writing with 35 reliable sources used as historical references, he said: “In spite of the fact that novels require arduous efforts to write and finish, their creators are elated when they see that the final product are based on facts and experiences that every reader who picks up the book will be able to learn from and enjoy.”
The novel features six parts. Titled Hormuz, the first part refers to the strategic location of the Hormuz Kingdom. It offers a precise description of the natural resources and geographic advantages that enabled it to become that period’s most important trade destination, a strategic seaport and an international market where global products from the East and the West converged.
Titled King Forugh Shah, the second part is set in 1588 AD, and offers a detailed description of the sociocultural life in Hormuz, particularly life in the palace, whereabouts of princes and ministers, as well as unique narratives about their marriages, alliances, disagreements and disputes.
The third part, Prince Firoz Shah, describes how the crown of Hormuz was given to the prince post several conflicts, which ended with his father, the king, relinquishing the throne.
Baby Fatima, the protagonist of this novel appears in the fourth act, which begins in 1610 AD when Prince Firoz Shah forcibly marries her. Their endless disagreements lead to her finding solace in Christianity.
Through a smooth and exciting narrative, His Highness addresses Baby Fatima’s eventful life and her relationship with king and their children, particularly in the last two parts Prince Toran Shahand Prince Mohammed Shah.
The novel presents the history of Hormuz Island, and the critical phase in the history of the region in a unique fictional technique that utilizes narratives to link the social, economic, geographical and political aspects. The novel illustrates the results and impact of the interaction of those aspects and components on the future of kingdoms and empires and how they rose and prospered, then fell and deteriorated, leaving behind signs of how the region’s countries, cultures and nations were formed.
Ben Garrod , an academic, biologist, conservationist, broadcaster and author of several books spoke at the event. Ian Hudson, a scholar, author and visiting lecturer who has focused on ancient seafaring civilisations and global maritime exploration, was also among the speakers. His most recent book is titledWho Discovered America: The Untold History of the Peopling of the Americas. He has lectured on the topic at Oxford, LSE, in the US and China.
At the event, His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, received the gilded German edition of his book, The Myth of Arab Piracy in the Gulf, by Dr George Olms, which was recently translated to German by Olms Publishing and will be released at the Frankfurt International Book Fair.