The HCT-Al Ain Women’s campus (AAW) had the pleasure of hosting HH Sheikha Dr. Shamma Bint Mohammed Bin Khaled Al Nahyan and Mr. Sultan Al Ameemi, eminent Emirati author and researcher, for the campus’s 4th Reading Seminar.
The event, featuring a discussion on a novel which had caught the attention of the student readers, was jointly organized by the AAW Student Services team, the AAW Arabic department and the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khaled Al Nahyan Cultural Center.
The influence of HH Sheikha Dr. Shamma’s passionate interest in and love for culture and literature, coupled with the AAW family’s keenness to host such knowledge-based events, was evident in the programme being a tremendous success.
The reading of the novel during the event marked a special moment for all the participants. For many, a highlight was watching and interacting with Sultan Al Ammemi, author of the famous novel PO Box 1003, who spoke passionately about the art of writing and the importance of reading.
Sheikha Dr. Shamma complimented Mrs. Hamsa Al Ammari, AAW Director, Mr. Sultan Al Ameemi, and AAW faculty and staff for organizing, attending and participating in the 4th reading seminar.
Mrs. Hamsa Al Ammari, AAW Director, said: “Al Ain Women’s College feels honoured to serve the initiative of reading in accordance with the vision of the UAE President, HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed’s initiative.”
Mrs Hamsa further acknowledged the presence of the honourable guests and said: “To have HH Sheikha Dr. Shamma Bint Mohammed Bin Khaled Al Nahyan in the campus was enriching and illuminating for the audience along with the renowned Emirati author Mr. Sultan Al Ameemi. It was indeed a prestigious moment.”
Mr. Radi Al Waqfi, Faculty in the Arabic Department, opened the discussion by welcoming Mr. Sultan Al Ameemi to the stage. “I am really honoured to be here today and I am feeling extremely happy,” Mr Ameemi said, in the presence of Her Highness, Sheikha Dr Shamma.
He also shared with the audience the reason behind name of the novel, which is actually his old family P.O. Box that got burned. Thoughts crossed his mind how it would have impacted people’s lives, as the letters they had dispatched were also destroyed. That happened to be the rationale for his novel.
The story shared by Mr. Ameemi raised great interest among the audience and also brought back some old memories for some.
Mrs. Safiya Al Rahbi, Faculty in the Arabic Department, reiterated that, saying to the author: “I would like to congratulate you on choosing such a brilliant title which has a meaningful story behind it. You reminded me of a time where no sort of communication was available but those letters, and they used to mean a lot to us.”
“We used to wait for months to send and receive them which made them carry a high value in our hearts. They used to carry all sorts of news and I played the part of delivering that news to our elders. I used to share with them their happiness and comfort them when they received bad news,” she added.
The great interest among the audience produced many queries and Mrs. Al Jazia Al Otaibi, Student Services Supervisor, opined: “Every author has an imprint in his or her novel. Where can we see Sultan Al Ameemi’s personality, what character represents you in the book?”
“My personality is represented by all the characters in the book, as I added something of my own in every character, and I added some other personalities that I have dealt with in real life to the characters as well as to have a specific meaning in the story,” the eminent author answered.
“Being afraid of people’s reactions is totally normal for a beginner writer, but my advice is to not let it affect your writing. We represent ourselves, our beliefs and our thoughts in our writings but we can’t satisfy everyone. That’s a goal no one can achieve because people vary in interests and beliefs,” he added.
The seminar ended with the presentation of a token of appreciation each to HH. Sheikha Dr. Shamma and to Mr Al Ameemi.