SIBF’s Cultural Personality of the Year praises ‘very old and very long Arab tradition in Sudan’
Scholar and researcher has recorded the impact and influence of Arab migration on the demographics of his nation
Sharjah, November 3, 2022
Sudanese historian Yusuf Fadl Hassan, the Cultural Personality of the Year at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair, engaged with audiences on the opening day of the 12-day annual book fair and shared his experiences in writing and chronicling history at a session titled, ‘In the Presence of History’.
Recognised as the 2022 edition’s ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ for his substantial efforts in promoting the research and documentation movement in Africa and Asia, the 90-year-old Yusuf Fadl Hassan has published more than 30 books.
An eminent researcher, he has chronicled Sudanese heritage, led teams of researchers, served as the president of Khartoum University, and also as editor of publications.
Dr. Hasan began his talk by touching on his friendship with His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, which took root during His Highness’s visit to the African and Asian Studies at Khartoum University in 1974.
“His Highness has been a constant source of support to us since then, and our work has been enriched by the virtuous and generous support of the UAE,” the Sudanese historian said.
Dr. Hasan spoke about the close ties and influence of the Arab world and its people on the history and demographics of Sudan. “What is world history without the Arabs?” he asked the SIBF audience. “My university thesis was about the migration of Arabs to Sudan and it later became the repository that influenced my thinking about the future.”
Speaking about the diversity of the people of Sudan and its recorded migration, he said “the Arab tradition there is very long and very old”.
Speaking about the process of chronicling history, the scholar noted that verbal narratives were the most commonly used practice in passing down stories and histories. “When I was studying and doing my research in Sudan, I found more spoken narratives than written records, passed on from our forefathers, one generation to another. It’s the narrative that I delved into much more than written history.”