In a ceremony held at the Sharjah Art Gallery on The American University in Cairo’s New Cairo Campus, Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohamed Al- Qasimi, member of the UAE Supreme Council and ruler of Sharjah, opened an exceptional collection of lithographs by world-renowned architectural artist David Roberts, and inaugurated the Sultan Al- Qasimi Department of History. The celebration was attended by Egyptian and Arab dignitaries, including Fayza Abuel Naga, Egyptian minister of international cooperation; Mohamed Bin Noukhaira Al Dahiri, ambassador of the UAE to Egypt; Amr Abdel-Hamid, special advisor to HH the Ruler of Sharjah for Higher Education; Abdalla Al-Owais, director general of the Sharjah Department of Culture; Peter Heath, chancellor of the American University in Sharjah. AUC officials in attendance included Moataz Al Alfi, vice board chairman of AUC’s Board of Trustees; David Arnold, AUC president, Amr Salama, counselor; and Lisa Anderson, provost.
The exhibition, Journey Through the Orient, includes 52 lithographs by David Roberts, RA, that were inspired by his journeys through Egypt in 1838 and 1839. The works include landscapes including scenes of the Nile, Cairo’s architecture and people, and the many famous ruins that Roberts encountered on his journey from Upper Egypt down the Nile to Cairo and Alexandria. The exhibition also features a rare map of the Nile from Nubia to the Mediterranean marking the sites that Roberts sketched and later painted. The collection is on loan from the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) to AUC’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) for a temporary exhibition at the Sharjah Art Gallery.
Describing the collection as “inspiring,” AUC President David Arnold said the students are privileged to have the opportunity to experience the works first-hand. “Sharjah has a wonderful reputation for its love of culture and heritage, whether that stretches back millennia, centuries or even decades. These prints are the perfect example of how we must preserve our past to inspire future generations. They do not merely record a moment in time; they instill a passion for students to make their own mark on the world.”
During his visit, His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohamed Al- Qasimi also inaugurated the Sultan Al- Qasimi Department of History, where he held a seminar with the history faculty that was moderated by Provost Lisa Anderson. “We appreciate the continuous support that HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohamed Al- Qasimi shows to AUC and to Egyptian and regional culture and education in general,” said Anderson. “His initiatives help instill an enduring appreciation for the arts in our youth and fosters a better understanding of regional history,” she added.
The AUC Department of History offers courses in the history of medieval and modern Europe, and modern history of the U.S and the Middle East.
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