President honours Arabic scholar

New Delhi, Jan 17: President Pranab Mukherjee Friday presented the country’s highest Arabic Scholar’s Award for the year 2013 to Prof. Zikrur Rahman, director, India Arab Cultural Centre and Centre for West Asian Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia.

The award carries a Certificate of Honour, a citation and Rs.500,000. Rahman was among the eminent scholars of Sanskrit, Pali/Prakrit, Arabic and Persian and the Maharishi Badrayan Vyas Samman who were honoured by the president at a ceremony in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Prof. Zikrur Rahman is a seasoned diplomat who has held a number of prestigious positions in the Indian embassies in the Arab World. He has also been India’s ambassador to the Palestine.

Considered as one of the best Arabic scholars in India, Prof. Zikrur Rahman has a number of academic achievements to his credit including works such as “Arab Diaspora in India”, “India Palestine Relations” and “Short Stories from India”. He has translated “The Indian Heritage” in Arabic written by Prof. Humayun Kabir and “The Argumentative Indian” by Nobel laureate Amartiya Sen.

He has researched and edited the Arabic translation of “The Ramayana” which has been published by Abu Dhabi Culture Authority, UAE. He has supervised translation and publication of 24 contemporary Indian writers’ books in Arabic language which include famous works such as “Wings of Fire” by APJ Abdul Kalam, “The Idea of India” by Sunil Khilnani and “The Habitations of Modernity” by Dipesh Chakrabarty besides 12 books by Arab authors in Urdu and Hindi.

He is currently authoring books on “Indian Scholars of Arabic Language and Literature” and “Indian Hajj Missions to Mecca”. He has been delivering lectures on West Asia, North Africa and the Gulf issues regularly in national and international forums in Asian and European academic circles.