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Sharjah Ruler opens symposium on Islamic Civilization in the 21st Century
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), attended the opening of a special international symposium entitled 'Islamic Civilization in the 21st Century- Global Perspectives' held at AUS today September 24. The two-day symposium, marking Sharjah's celebration as Islamic Culture Capital 2014, is being held in collaboration with the Sharjah Museums Department.
The Ruler of Sharjah was accompanied by senior government officials. The opening was also attended by international delegates, senior officials from AUS as well as faculty members and students.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor, said: "History is witness to the rich heritage and culture of Islamic civilization through the centuries. From mathematics, astronomy, and science, to the fields of architecture, literature, and geography, the Arab and Islamic world has played a crucial role in contributing to universal knowledge. Its geographical breadth encompasses a diverse range of cultures, languages, and traditions, making it a vibrant multicultural entity that the world cannot be allowed to forget."
The chancellor expressed his delight in working in collaboration with the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD). "We have always welcomed collaboration with government sectors in all areas. This wonderful international symposium is only the latest reflection of our strong ties with the Government of Sharjah and the close relationship that we share. AUS also frequently holds conferences and symposia with other eminent universities and institutes from around the world and hosts renowned academics, experts, and industry leaders," he added.
In her opening address, Manal Ataya, Director General of SMD said, "In 2014, all these efforts to ensure the achievements of the Islamic world are celebrated, not only within the Islamic world but all over the globe. Outstanding individuals from our region and beyond are making significant and inspiring contributions, supported by some patrons, institutions and even governments. However, for a complex set of reasons, currently these efforts are not recognized enough globally to the same degree as those of their distinguished predecessors in history."
The symposium comprises three sessions that highlight the innovative, visionary and creative contributions that outstanding individuals from the region and beyond are making to contemporary Islamic and global civilization today. The event will focus on a number of areas, including education, research, scholarship, science, as well as arts, culture and communication.
The event is being attended and addressed by numerous internationally renowned experts and academics, including, Yasmin Faghihi, Head of the Near and Middle Eastern Department at Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, UK; Eva Schubert, Founder and Chief Executive, Museum with No Frontiers (MWNF); Dr. Abdullah Alshankiti, Soil Management Scientist at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai, UAE; Dr Mariam Matar, Chairman and Founder, UAE Genetic Diseases Association; Dr. Ulrike Al Khamis, Strategic Advisor, Sharjah Museums Department; Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, Founding Creative Director, Khatt Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Dr. Azra Akamija, Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor of the Arts at MIT's Art, Culture and Technology Program, Cambridge, Mass., USA; and Dr. Noah Radford, Advisor to the UAE Prime Minister's Office.