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New film captures Khor Fakkan’s 16th century heroics to resist invasion

As the Khor Fakkan Amphitheatre opens, the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA) will screen a film detailing the resistance put up by its inhabitants during a Portuguese invasion in 1507 AD.

Khorfakkan is based on the historical book, Khorfakkan’s Resistance Against the Portuguese Invasion of September 1507, by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

The two-hour film will be screened for three days on December 15–17 at 7.30pm. The SBA announced that free tickets for the screening have run out.

The film will premiere in cinemas across the UAE on December 17.

The production, which took two years to film, highlights the resistance put up by Khor Fakkan’s inhabitants during a Portuguese invasion led by naval commander General Afonso de Albuquerque over 500 years ago. The film documents the local way of life in the city as described in Sheikh Sultan’s book, with the Portuguese invasion of the Arabian Gulf and the UAE’s eastern coastline forming the main highlight.

The story continues to 27 years later when, on February 13, 1534, Portuguese commander Don Georges de Castro launched a failed attack on the city once again as the residents of Khor Fakkan successfully resisted his efforts.

A team of more than 300 people, including Arab and Emirati artists and producers, came together for the film.

The film’s cast includes Syrian actor Rasheed Assaf, who plays the character of General Afonso de Albuquerque; Emirati actors Ahmed Al Jasmi, Mohammed Al Ameri, and Dr. Habib Ghloum; Syrian Qais Shaikh Najeeb; and other prominent actors.

Directed by Irish Maurice Sweeney and British Ben Mole, the scenes of the film were shot on Khor Fakkan’s shores, its farms, mountains, and around the ancient city under the expert supervision of Irish cinematographer and director of photography, Richard Kendrick.

Mohamed Hassan Khalaf, Director-General of the SBA, said: “The film, which highlights the history and historical importance of Khor Fakkan, commemorates the celebration of a landmark development project launched in the city under the directives and supervision of Sheikh Dr. Sultan.

“The strategic location of the city — overlooking the Arabian Sea and its integral role as an important maritime route — made it a prime target for invasion and occupation. However, those conquests failed due to the resistance put up by its people who fought valiantly to protect the homeland.

“In producing this film, we wanted to document the bravery and sacrifices endured by the city’s residents in fending off the attacks.”

The inauguration of the Khor Fakkan Amphitheatre will be marked by a grand celebration and activities.

www.khaleejtimes.com

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