A Patron Ruler
The Patron Ruler
The Emirate of Sharjah may appear to be a small dot on the map, but thanks to its ruler it has played and still plays a cultural role worthy of the world’s envy. Sheikh Al-Qasimi is more than the Ruler of Sharjah: he is an extremely cultured man who holds two Ph.Ds (in history and in the political geography of the Gulf) from British universities. He is the author of several historical and literary publications. Through his publications, His Highness has greatly contributed to the spread of Arab culture […]. His vast knowledge of the history of French orientalism, manifest in his acceptance speech upon being named Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, has enriched research in the history of ideas, inherited from the Renaissance: Arabic printing, introduced to France by Savary de Brèves, Herbelot de Molainville’s Bibliothèque orientale, the Description de l’Égypte commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, Volney’s Voyage en Syrie et en Égypte, etc.
The Sheikh, a man enamoured with words and books, unhesitatingly made Sharjah a shining cultural centre – at the regional and then international levels, notably by creating, with UNESCO, this Prize dedicated to developing the prestige of civilization in which he was born and raised and his determination to chart and bring to life its history in the spirit of al-Andalus and in full respect for the written word.
 From a presentation by the Permanent Delegation of the United Arab Emirates at the official ceremony of the eighth award of the Prize.