Posted 14 September 2005
AZAD-HYE (Dubai, 14 September 2005): His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the United Arab Emirate's (UAE) Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah is expected to pay an official visit to Armenia from 19-21 September 2005. This is the highest ranking official from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to visit Armenia. His Highness has been the Ruler of Sharjah since 1972 and is educated at the Universities of Cairo and Exeter (England), having a PhD degree from the later. In Armenia he will be bestowed with honorary doctorate from prestigious Armenian university, as a token of appreciation for his contribution to the well being of the Armenians in his Emirate and his continuous attentiveness to develop the relations between Armenia and the UAE, on cultural and other levels.
Dr Sheikh Al Qasimi will attend the opening ceremony of the Sharjah Cultural Week in Armenia (19-23 September 2005), an event that will further develop the existing warm relations between the two sides. A delegation of 20 artists from Sharjah will introduce to the Armenian public the traditions and recent cultural achievements of Sharjah. It is worth mentioning that Sharjah is considered as one of the most culturally oriented cities in the Arab World. In 1998 it was designated by UNESCO as the cultural capital of the Arab World. Sharjah International Art Biennial is a well known event worldwide.
The Sharjah Cultural Week is taking place within the framework of cultural exchanges between Armenia and Sharjah. The details of this cooperation has been discussed in December 2004 during the visit of the Minister of Culture of Armenian Hovig Hoveyan to Sharjah, who attended, together with Dr. Sheikh Al Qasimi and Dr. Arshak Poladian, Ambassador of Armenian to the UAE, the opening ceremony of the Armenian Cultural Week in Sharjah (11-17 December 2004).
During the above visit to Sharjah the Minister of Culture Hovik Hoveyan was awarded two rare breed horses. Both Arab horses contributed to the development of horse-breeding in Armenia. Dr. Sheikh Al Qasimi will take with him this time two more horses, thus enabling to enlarge the circle of rare horse breeding in Armenia. (Click Read More).
Dr. Sheikh Al Qasimi will meet also the President of Armenia, whom he hosted in Sharjah previously on 21 April 2002, during Kocharian's official visit to the UAE. His Highness will be congratulating Armenia on its independence day (21 September).
The only Armenian church in the UAE has been constructed on land donated by Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. The permission to build the church was granted in 1997. The project began at the end of the same year and was completed in one year time. It was was officially consecrated in the Al Yarmook district of the city of Sharjah in November 1998 by His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. The built-up area of the church is 400 square metres, while the whole project (together with adjacent parts, including the Community Hall) covers a total area of 1200 square metres. The church has been large enough to serve the 3000 Armenians who live in the Northern Emirates (Dubai, Sharjah and other emirates except Abu Dhabi which is located relatively far). This one million dollar project has been financed by the members of the Armenian community in the country.
Photo: Dr. Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi, Minister Hovig Hoveyan, Ambassador Dr. Arshak Poladian at the opening ceremony of the Armenian Cultural Week in Sharjah (December 2004).