My Early Life / Launch of the autobiography of the Ruler of Sharjah

Last night, on 7th April, Bloomsbury hosted a lavish dinner at the British Library in London, to celebrate the publication of My Early Life, by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah.

My Early Life is the inside story and warm-hearted memoir of the personal and political development of a widely respected statesman. The book gives a unique historical and political insight into the tensions between the emerging Gulf states and the British administrations in the 1950s and 1960s.

This first part of the autobiography of HH Dr Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi spans the years until his selection as ruler of Sharjah as a young man of thirty-three. It reveals the emergence of the man and the state, documenting with insight the dramatic palace coups in his own country and the neighbouring emirate of Ras al-Khaimah and the struggles for power during the formation of the United Arab Emirates.

Revealing fascinating and untold parts of the history of the Gulf state, the author’s story is told with humour and passion, including his role in the protests and anti-British sabotage actions following the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1956, his brief affiliation with the Ba’th party and the subsequent attempt on his life by party zealots in the 1960s, the occasionally baffled British administration attempting to follow the changing balances in power, and the siege of the palace in 1972 in which the former ruler of Sharjah was killed.

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