LONDON: The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London recently organized a discussion on British explorer Cpt. William Shakespear, and the impact of British travelers and explorers on the Arabian Peninsula.
The session was held in the presence of Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to the UK. It was organized on the sidelines of an exhibition titled “The Other Shakespear” at the Royal Geographical Society.
Fahd Al-Samari, secretary-general of the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, participated in the discussion alongside Alain Dillon, the British writer and diplomat.
The session included an open talk about the attractiveness of the peninsula to travelers and explorers like Shakespear.
Al-Samari spoke about the effects these travelers and explorers had on Arabia’s relationship with the West, as they transmitted Saudi history and heritage through pictures and reports, which provide a window into the era, preserved in part by the collection of King Abdulaziz.
Dillon discussed the challenges that faced the travelers in crossing one of the most difficult deserts in the world, and what the desert represented for the UK and for them. In addition, he talked about the contributions Shakespear made as a pioneer in exploring Najd where he took many important pictures.
At the end of the session, Prince Khalid made a speech in which he expressed his gratitude for the participants and the audience, and talked about the impact of travelers and explorers and their role in building Saudi-British relations, calling on the audience to read more about Shakespear and his contributions.
The exhibition included some of the oldest photos of the Arabian Peninsula, and of King Abdulaziz and his men, in addition to maps of the north of the peninsula drawn by Shakespear.
The exhibition, hosted by the Royal Geographical Society in London, will continue from May 11 till June 8 daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.