Sharjah Ruler gets honorary doctorate degree

Shaikh Sultan was also honoured for fostering and developing Sharjah as a platform that brought global cultures together

Sharjah: The University of Coimbra in Portugal, one of the world’s most prestigious universities, honoured His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, with an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa Doctorate Degree) in recognition of his efforts for supporting culture, literature and history on local and international fronts.

Shaikh Sultan was also honoured in appreciation of fostering and developing Sharjah as a platform that brought global cultures together, and established new frontiers to respect and tolerance through diversity and appreciation of differences.

The University of Coimbra described Shaikh Sultan as “the man who brings cultures together” through his unparalleled efforts and achievements in many fields such as culture, history and literature. Through these achievements, the Ruler of Sharjah unveiled a series of significant historical facts on the historic relationships between numerous nations, and how they developed over time.

The University of Coimbra underscored that honouring Shaikh Sultan is to honour the symbol of human cultures who played a critical role in strengthening the fabric of cultural relationships between nations.

The University of Coimbra, one of the oldest universities in Europe and the world, and the oldest in Portugal, was established in 1920, as one of the very first 15 European universities. It is one of the largest institutions of higher education and research in Portugal, and was added to the World Heritage Sites List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

As mandated by the laws of the University of Coimbra, the Honorary Doctorate is the highest scientific and honorary degree, which the Deans honour personalities who have made exceptional contributions in the scientific, literary or cultural fields.

Since its inception in 1290, the university gave this degree to 190 people from around the world, including António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.

The honouring ceremony, held at the headquarters of the University of Coimbra, was attended by Mousa Abdul Wahid Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to Portugal; Paulo Portas, Former Deputy Prime-Minister of Portugal; João Gabriel Silva, Rector of University of Coimbra; José Pedro Pavia, Dean of the University of Coimbra; Dr Amr Abdel Hamid, Director of the Sharjah Research Academy (SRA); Members of the University Senate and scientific Council and a host of alumni of the University of Coimbra; and officials from the cities of Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto.

Shaikh Sultan met members of the University Senate and scientific council, and toured the university campus. He said that the culture of any nation is the sole constant power that does not change, no matter how its political and economic environment change.

Shaikh Sultan noted that scientists, authors, philosophers, historians and artists are the inspiring future and the eternal beautiful bright light for the sustainability of any culture.

In a speech at the honouring ceremony, Shaikh Sultan commended the efforts of the Rector, Deans, and Members of the University Senate, aimed at supporting human culture and enhancing cross-cultural communication between nations.

“It is a great pleasure to be at the historic campus of the University of Coimbra. It is also a privilege to meet such distinguished assembly of academics and scholars. I am truly honoured to receive the prestigious Honoris Causa Doctorate Degree from the University of Coimbra, the leading University in Portugal, and one of the oldest Universities in Europe,” he added,

“Some years ago, I spent some time at the Municipal Library of Porto examining the diary of Vasco da Gama’s first trip to India. More recently, five years ago, the Lisbon Academy of Sciences gave me the honour and elected me to the membership of the Academy. With today’s added honour from the University of Coimbra, my ties to Portugal are stronger and forever lasting,” added Shaikh Sultan.

“It is of prime importance to recognise that the success of our development efforts was the establishment of quality institutions for higher learning. The collaboration with internationally recognised universities from Europe, North America, and Australia, enabled us to discover and explore two high quality universities in a record time by any standard,” he explained.

At the honouring ceremony, the University of Coimbra commended the role of Shaikh Sultan in promoting culture, supporting intellectuals, arts and theatrical performances in the Arab world.

The University pointed out that under the directives of Shaikh Sultan, Sharjah has become an incubator of the world’s most important humanitarian and cultural events, and they commended the literary, cultural and historical publications written by His Highness, highlighting that they attribute value to the Arabic and world literature.

Shaikh Sultan has published an array of literary, historical and theatrical works such as ‘Tale of a City’, ‘Under the Flag of Occupation’, ‘The Conflict between Power and Trade in the Gulf (1620-1820)’, ‘Economy of the Emirates of Arabian Coast in the 19th Century’, ‘Selected Speeches’, ‘About the Theatre’, (Nashij Al Wada’), ‘A Message to the Theatre People’, as well as a number of plays such as ‘Daesh wal Ghabra’, ‘Aliyaa and Osam’, ‘The Black Stone (Al Hajar Al Aswad)’, ‘Turgot’ and ‘Alexander the Great’, among others.

Shaikh Sultan has already been awarded 17 honorary certificates and doctorates from Paris Diderot University in France, Kanazawa University in Japan, Cairo University in Egypt, University of Sheffield in the UK, the University of Jordan, McMaster University in Canada, Edinburgh University in the UK, London South Bank University in the UK, International Islamic University in Malaysia, Russian Academy of Sciences in Russia, University of Khartoum in Sudan, among others.

He also holds many Honorary Positions, including President of American University of Sharjah since 1997, President of the University of Sharjah since 1997, Visiting Professor at Exeter University since 1998, Member of the Companion of the Guild of Cambridge Benefactors since 2004, Founding Member of the University of Exeter’s College of Benefactors since 2007, Member of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon since 2013.

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