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AUS holds international conference on Arabic heritage
His Excellency Sheikh Salem Bin Abdul Rahman Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Ruler's Office, inaugurated a conference on Arab and Islamic heritage at American University of Sharjah (AUS), today, April 14. The conference, entitled "Mapping Arabic Heritage: Language, Literature and Culture, Past and Present" is organized by the AUS Department of Arabic and Translation Studies with the support of the Center of Gulf Studies (CGS), and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES).
The three-day conference discusses all areas related to Arabic heritage, including Arabic language and linguistics, literature, culture, translation and Islamic studies.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Malcom Richards, Acting Provost of AUS, welcomed the delegates to the conference and thanked all the participating parties for their efforts in organizing the event. He said the areas highlighted at the conference were of great importance and wished the delegates a successful and fruitful conference that would encourage dialogue and debate.
Original research papers presented in the conference focus on a number of areas including theoretical and applied issues in Arabic language and linguistics, Arabic literature studies covering any period from pre-Islamic era to the present, and theoretical and applied issues in Arabic translation and interpretation.
Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of College of Arts and Science, addressed the audience and highlighted the relevance of this conference as the event coincides with the celebration of Sharjah's selection as the Islamic Cultural Capital. "Organizing such a high-caliber international conference with the quality of speakers and participants is one of many examples that we, in the College of Arts and Sciences, are committed to in the fulfillment of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan's enlightened vision to equip our young generation with the necessary tools and knowledge to help preserve Arab and Islamic heritage and culture," he said.
Dr. Ronak Husni, Head of the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies at AUS also delivered a welcome address. She said: "Heritage is not only historical. The vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and that of the Arabic department is a strong belief that the past contributes to influence the present and it is only an encompassing understanding of the historical background that gives an appreciation of current values and perspectives." Frances Guy, President of BRISMES, also addressed the opening session.
The first keynote address was delivered by Dr. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych from Georgetown University. Dr. Stetkevych presented her research paper in which she focused on how Arab poets of the Abbasid era used rhetorical structures and poetic motifs to paint a picture of a Golden Age.
The opening session of the conference was attended by a visiting delegates, senior AUS officials, faculty members and students. The event will conclude on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.