Sharjah Book Authority’s ‘Tales from the East’offers insights into the formative works of the region’s greatest minds
SBA’s week-long exhibitionconcludes, paying tribute to human achievement in the form of rare books, manuscripts and artefacts, educating the public on the region’s rich cultural and scientific past
Sharjah, May 4, 2021
Tales from the East, Sharjah Book Authority (SBA)’s week-long exhibition to spread awareness about the region’s glorious past, concluded at the SBA headquarters. The seven-day tribute to humankind’s past glories aimed to educate the public through the formative work of scientists, innovators and thought leaders that over hundreds of years has informed and influenced current technological feats.
‘Tales from the East’ showcased a collection ofcenturies-old books and manuscripts as well as rare artefacts, collectively valued at more than AED 60 million.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said: “The exhibition was a unique opportunity to learn about the power and influence of Arab and Islamic culture on human civilisation over the centuries”, as it enabled visitors to journey back in time to explore some of the most significant sources of knowledge and sciences that have shaped our understanding of history.
“The exhibition affirms the truth that acquiring knowledge is a continuous and cumulative journey which transcends all physical boundaries and can be transmitted to generations across centuries,” he further noted.
“’Tales from the East’ served as a window that offered insights into the formative works of great minds, and reinforced that the true value of manuscripts lies not only in their content but also in its importance as a valuable work of preserved art. Manuscripts help us decode many unique aspects of the era in which it was written, the prevalent beliefs and values of the time, and the creativity inherent during that period,” Al Ameri continued.
He concluded saying that this exhibition has,“bolstered Sharjah’s status as a beacon of science, culture, knowledge and reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah to preserve the cultural and intellectual legacy of humankind and ensure its preservation and continuity.”
The week-long exhibition also hosted several engaging and enlightening cultural sessions and panel discussions led by eminent historians and experts. These sessions not only shed light on the importance of preserving ancient manuscripts for upcoming generations, but also provided insight into the challenges being faced thereof.
Among the unique items showcased as part of Tales from the East were rare early editions and manuscripts of the Holy Quran dating back hundreds of years. Description of Egypt, a 23-part collaborative work of scholars, scientists, artists, and technicians who followed Napoleon Bonaparte to Egypt in the early 19th century, drew vast crowds.
The exhibits included the first edition of KatibÇelebi’sThe Mirror of the World, published in in 1732; as well as 17th century globes, and other singular range of artefacts. Visitors also got the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and aesthetics of Arabic calligraphy that spanned centuries.