Delhi professor, Syrian scholar honoured for Islamic studies


Paris : An Indian professor teaching at the University of Delhi has been chosen for the 2007 Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture, along with Syrian scholar Aldine Lolah.

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The prize was presented Thursday by Unesco Director-General Koichiro Matsuura and Sharjah Culture and Information Department Director General Abdullah Al Owais during a ceremony organized at Unesco headquarters here Thursday.

Shah Abdus Salam, who directs research on Arabic literature and culture at Delhi University, is a well known figure in India and abroad for his works on Islamic culture and inter-faith dialogue, and has strengthened understanding among diverse cultures and societies, a citation said.

Aladine Lolah, who teaches history of Arabic science at Aleppo University of Syria, has contributed to furthering the dialogue between civilizations and mutual understanding.

The $25,000 prize was proposed by Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al-Qassimi and approved by the Executive Board of Unesco in 1998 thanks to funds donated by the government of Sharjah.

Initially awarded every two years, the prize has been awarded annually since 2003 and aims to honour individuals, groups or institutions that have contributed in a significant way to the development, diffusion and promotion of Arab culture in the world, as well as to the preservation and revitalization of intangible Arab cultural heritage.

The prize was awarded to writer Tahar Ouettar (Algeria) and Father Michel Lagarde (Holy See) in 2005, and to Jamal Al-Shalabi (Jordan) and Yordan Peev (Bulgaria) in 2006.