Flourishing Emirati Thought

  • 9 April 2016

Thanks to the particular importance attached by the wise leadership to promoting thought and culture, the United Arab Emirates has acquired a special place at the international level in terms of spreading knowledge, literature and all sorts of sciences in favour of serving humanity as a whole in the present and the future.

The UAE’s keen interest in culture and thought was inculcated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who had a farsighted approach to develop thought and culture and enrich intellectual production at the local, regional and international levels. In this respect, special emphasis was laid on the role of the book in spreading knowledge and civilization as the late Sheikh expressed in one of his memorable quotes: “The book is a pot of science and civilization, culture and knowledge, literature and the arts, and nations are not measured by material wealth only, but by their cultural authenticity.”

In commemoration of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his pioneering role in developing the state and the citizen, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award was launched in 2006 to celebrate the achievements of writers, poets, novelists, translators and publishers in the region and the world. The award aims to highlight their works and their contribution to the modern culture and knowledge. Thus, the Award has acquired an international aura attracting writers, researchers and academics from around the globe which led to enriching the cultural scene in the UAE and reinforced its international status as a bridge between the cultures of the east and the west and as a model of coexistence and peace.

The development of the UAE culture and thought was reflected in the celebration of the book The Mirage by HE Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) who received the Contribution to the Development of Nations Award, as part of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2015-2016. This represents a recognition of the work and contribution of HE Dr Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi in the fields of political science and international relations as well as his intellectual engagement to counter the extremist thought.

The presentation of the award to HE Dr Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi also reflects the role of intellectuals in boosting comprehensive sustainable development in the UAE in order to ensure a brighter future under the farsighted leadership.

This is also a recognition of the value of HE Dr Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi’s book The Mirage, which was welcomed by researchers and academics across the globe as an encyclopedic book that analyses the calamities of terrorism and extremism and exposes the illusions sold by political religious groups in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The book deals with the distortion of religion by the groups that use Islam for political ends. Available in Arabic, English and French, The Mirage is being translated into other languages in order to spread the thought of moderation and enlighten the international public opinion. It also represents a valuable contribution to political science theory.

The Flourishing of the Emirati thought and the achievement of UAE intellectuals at the local and international arenas is the fruit of the interest attached by the wise leadership to promoting research and culture. This keen interest stems from the belief that the flourishing of the Emirati thought is the linchpin for developing all other fields as part of comprehensive sustainable development efforts that put the UAE on the track of achieving the 2020 vision.