Russian author and researcher at St. Petersburg State University, Yaser Akel, and Bahraini novelist Leila Al Mutawa have shared interesting views about the influence of history on literature at the 39th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair. The virtual session was held as part of the book fair, running from Nov.4-14 under the theme ‘The World Reads from Sharjah’.
Moderated by Emirati writer Safia Al Shehi, the session saw the two speakers debate over the question whether history, which is based on facts, can support literature which relies largely on imagination.
Yaser Akel opined that history may evolve over time if additional facts are unearthed about incidents which may strengthen the theories of earlier historians, or cause history to be rewritten. He stressed that historical research methods are universal and rely upon information from multiple sources that are compared and analysed to identify their impact and value as historical facts. He called on researchers in the Arab world to contribute to history by focusing on Islamic medical manuscripts, which are an invaluable source for historians.
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