Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi.
The Gorky Moscow Art Theatre was filled with roaring applause for Nimrod, a theatrical work by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. The audience’s cheering for the actors continued long after they left the stage.
Before the curtain was raised on the play, Emirati actor and the play’s main protagonist Ahmed Al Jasmi, gave a short speech to the audience explaining how the work is a true reflection of The Sharjah Ruler’s belief that passion for the arts is key to building societies on the foundations of love, peace and justice.
Performed before a packed house including Russian intellectuals and senior officials, the play narrates the life of Nimrod Bin Kan’aan, ruler of Babylon and king of the Assyria Empire. It is a social commentary to highlight that the biggest responsibility of a nation’s leadership is to build equal societies based on peace and justice.
Directed by Tunisian director and sonographer Moncef Souissi, the universal language of theatre takes a regional story to international audiences.
Souissi’s direction enabled the play to masterfully link the past to the present, and conveyed the story’s message in a way that strengthened the relationship between the actors and spectators. Music composer Ibrahim Al Amiri’s brilliant original score played a key role in driving home these messages.
Abdullah Al Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Culture Department said: “Moscow is the latest host to Sharjah’s cultural programmes, which have travelled through major Eastern European cities. Sharjah participated in cultural competitions hosted by Hungary and Romania recently. Today, the Gorky Moscow Art Theatre, one of the most prestigious theatres in the world, staged Nimrod, which has been performed before in Canada, Spain, Britain, Ireland and other European countries. This is a true honour for Sharjah and adds to its great cultural achievements.”
Meanwhile, Noura Al Noman, Emirati author and founder of Makhtoota 5229 – the first Emirati publishing house dealing in YA Arabic science fiction and fantasy, and Russian writer and translator Maria Ghalina, have highlighted key challenges and opportunities facing the genre’s writers in their countries.
The insightful dialogue was held at a panel discussion organised as part of Sharjah “Guest City” celebrations at the ongoing 32nd edition of the Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF 2019).
Panelists took the audiences through the historical developments of the genre and its vision for the future.
Noura Al Noman noted the point of distinction between sci-fi and other fantasy genres saying the basis of the former is in pure science. As a result, she emphasised, that science fiction works can logically address issues faced by society realistically within its fictional narratives and possesses a unique quality to make future predictions based on foreseeable advances in science.
Highlighting challenges facing sci-fi authors, Al Noman said: “Language is a key challenges in Arabic sci-fi because many of the concepts writers develop their narratives on are based on translation of foreign sci-fi films that are constantly upgrading and evolving at a rapid pace. The Arabic language lexicon doesn’t have the right words sometimes.”
On the ability of the development of sci-fi in light of the rapid advances in science, Al Noman said: “Although readers may feel that sci-fi works lose their importance over the years because what was written 50 years ago based on pure fantasy is either today’s reality or is outdated – the truth is very different.”
Speaking about her experience in writing sci-fi books and establishing the first publishing house dedicated to this genre of literature, Al Noman said: “My first sci-fi novel dealt with the refugee issue as it tells the story of a girl who experiences being a refugee and then joined an extremist group. This novel aims to enhance the awareness of the Emirati community, especially the youth.”
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has instructed the Sharjah Directorate of Public Works to set up a sewer network in Khor Fakkan.
Sharjah Police prayed to Almighty Allah to rest his soul in peace, and grant his family patience and solace.
The Ministry issued a statement saying, "President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, mourns with grief and sorrow, the death of Sheikh Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi."
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