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’ directives came during remarks he made via the Direct Line Programme broadcast live on Sharjah Radio. Sheikh Sultan also instructed SPEA to set the number of teaching classes for each teacher to 24 per week, approximately 5 teaching classes per day.
After five days of showcasing the Emirati culture to Russians at the 32nd Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF 2019), Sharjah – the World Book Capital 2019 – has wrapped up its ‘Guest City’ participation at the fair, going down the pages of history as the first Arab city to be offered this honour by Russia’s largest book fair.
Sheikh Sultan directed the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) to set two standards for private schools in the emirate regarding the maximum number of students per classroom and the number of classes a week for teachers.
The Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai, derailed and fell on the opposite track, with many people still trapped, the reports said.
Sheikh Mohammed added in a tweet on Twitter: "We found its executive director at the service counters, receiving customers, speeding up procedures, and contributing to clearing transactions. The secret shopper assured us that providing the service did not exceed five minutes."
The first lady arrived in Cairo from Amman, where she attended the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein. She is travelling to Morocco on Saturday before heading to Portugal, the final stop of her tour, on Monday.