According to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah Emirate the city of Ras al-Khaimah was historically known as Julfar and was founded by Armenians who escaped Persia during the Mongol invasion.
During a televised broadcast His Highness revealed that:
“The Armenian Christians fled from Persia to that place called Bgelovar which is now located in Ras Al Khaimah, and was founded by Armenians”
He then added that Julfar was an Armenian and not an Arab name. The ruler also asked the educational authorities to change the textbooks accordingly.
The statement was published on his personal website (in Arabic): www.sheikhdrsultan.ae
It is interesting to note that Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi during his visit to Armenia in 2005 has funded the restoration of the 13th century Haghartsin Monastery.
“In 2005 His Royal Highness visited Armenia and generously offered to renovate the complex during a tour of various Armenian regions,”said Varouj Nerguizian, a Sharjah-based Armenian businessman who has advised Dr Sheikh Sultan.
It is said that he donated almost 2 million USD for this occasion. The building work included a new road up to the monastery to help to boost visitor numbers.
“I cannot recall anything similar to this happening in our history that an Arab Sheikh, a Muslim, helped to restore and rescue an Armenian Christian church. Without doubt it was God who brought the Sheikh to Haghartsin.”the priest, Aristakes Aivazyan, said.