Prof. Dr. Halit Eren, Director General of the OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Arts and Culture – IRCICA, presented a special copy of the research work titled Kuwait in Ottoman Documents: selected documents from the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul 1850-1900 prepared and published by IRCICA, to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait. An international ceremony and press conference were held on 7 July 2020 at IRCICA’s headquarters in Cağaloğlu, Istanbul, where IRCICA Director General Prof. Dr. Halit Eren entrusted the special copy to H.E. Ambassador Ghassan Al-Zawawi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait in Ankara, Turkey, for its presentation to His Highness the Emir of Kuwait.
The ceremony was attended by members of academic and cultural institutions and representatives of the local and foreign media.
In his address at the ceremony, Prof. Dr. Halit Eren referred to the research projects, academic publications, congresses, art exhibitions and training programs carried out by the Centre on the history of Islamic civilization and the history of Islamic countries. He said that the Centre aims to contribute to advancement of scholarly studies on Islamic civilization across the world, correctly and widely make known the Islamic civilization, promote cultural exchanges and rapprochement between Islamic countries and with other countries; to this aim the Centre undertook projects and activities in various fields, including studies on the Holy Quran, history of Muslim nations, history of science, history of arts, archaeology, fine arts and handicrafts and preservation of cultural and architectural heritage. Director General Prof. Eren explained that the results of these activities are disseminated worldwide for the use of researchers and all interested, through the Centre’s publications consisting of more than 350 reference books and research works on Islamic cultural heritage, historical manuscripts, Islamic world’s history of sciences, history and awqaf of al-Quds, and its prestigious albums of historical photographs of major cities of the Islamic world, in the first place the sacred cities of Islam, namely Makkah al-Mukarrama, Madina al-Munawwara and al-Quds. Prof. Eren said that the sources of scholarly and historical information to which IRCICA refers for these studies include the collections of documents and manuscript works contained in the archival institutions, libraries and museums of the OIC member countries. He explained that being located in Istanbul, which was the capital of the Ottoman State, IRCICA has the possibility of using the collections of the Turkish State’s Ottoman Archives which are preserved in the same city and that it published a large number of historical studies and publications on the basis of these archives. Among them, the series of books titled “History of Arab countries in the Ottoman period in the light of Ottoman documents” has essential reference value for scholars and researchers around the world who are working on that period of history. Prof. Eren said that the book “Kuwait in Ottoman Documents/ Selected documents from the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul 1850-1900” is the outcome of a meticulous and delicate work based on these archives. He recalled that the idea of the project to prepare this book had emerged in the light of the keen interest and emphasis expressed by His Excellency Ambassador Ghassan Al-Zawawi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait, through his inquiries about historical information related to Kuwait as contained in the Ottoman archives documents, which had shown that there was a need for such a study. He explained that the book covers an important part of the history of Kuwait during the second half of the nineteenth century; the documents contained reveal the position of the Ottoman Empire regarding the events that took place in the region, and the high status enjoyed by the rulers of Kuwait – Al Sabah family, in the esteem of the Ottoman Sultans.
For his part, H.E. Ambassador Ghassan Al-Zawawi, praised the Centre’s activities and publications in the field of Islamic History, Arts and Civilization. He stated that the OIC should be proud of the activities and projects implemented by IRCICA, especially its studies based on the documents of the Ottoman Archives, describing the Centre as a giant scientific establishment.
Amb. Al-Zawawi stressed that the State of Kuwait is proud to receive this wonderful book because it reflects an important historical period of the history of Kuwait, and establishes a better understanding of the past and the present to build a prosperous future.
Ambassador Ghassan Al-Zawawi affirmed that the book will be greatly appreciated by The state of Kuwait, headed by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, hoping that cooperation between IRCICA and the State of Kuwait will continue, and that this cooperation will be crowned with more publications.
Then Prof. Dr. Halit Eren entrusted the special copy prepared for His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, to His Excellency Ambassador Ghassan Al-Zawawi, for its presentation to His Highness the Emir.
Prof. Dr. Fazıl Bayat, Consultant to IRCICA Director General, who prepared the study, briefed Ambassador Al-Zawawi on the contents and methodology of the book.