“Amir” versus “Sheikh”: understanding the Arab titles

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His Majesty Hamad Ibn Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain. The Al Khalifa  family rules Bahrain since 1783 and their royal titles are “sheikh”. They’ve adopted “Amir” in 1971 and “Malik” (or King) in 2002

We could end this article in one sentence by saying that both titles, in essence, mean the same thing.

In the last couple of centuries, it was created a convention that the title “Amir” (or “Emir”) would be the equivalent of the European “Prince”.  According to several encyclopedias, “Amir”, means “lord” or “commander-in-chief”, being derived from the Arabic root ‘a-m-r’ or “command“. Originally, simply meaning “commander-in-chief” or “leader”, usually in reference to a group of people, it came to be used as a title for governors or rulers, usually in smaller states. Therefore, the title had a military – not necessarily royal/noble – connotation.

The title Emir or Amir was equivalent of that of Commander.” The Black Book of the Admiralty, 1873, V.2, p.xiii (Cambridge University Press, 2012 edition, edited by Travers Twiss)

In the past, amir was usually a military title, now used to mean prince or as a title for various rulers or chiefs.” The New Encyclopedia of Islam, By Cyril Glassé, Huston Smith, Rowman Altamira, 2003, p.48

Whereas the title “Sheikh” was used mostly in three different connotations:

  1. Religious – although more recent, doesn’t concern this article,
  2. Royal – “sui iuris” hereditary sovereign or semi-sovereign ruler,
  3. Noble – noble title given by a sovereign or semi-sovereign ruler hereditary (“ad eternum”) or not (“ad personam”)

Sheikh (pronounced /ʃeɪk/ SHAYK or /ʃiːk/ SHEEK; Arabic: شيخ‎ šayḫ [ʃæjx], mostly pronounced [ʃeːx/ʃejx], plural شيوخ šuyūḫ [ʃuju:x])—also transliterated Sheik, Shaik, Shayk, Shaykh, Cheikh, Shekh, and Shaikh—is an honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly designates the ruler of a tribe, who inherited the title from his father. “Sheikh” is given to a royal male at birth, whereas the related title “Sheikha” is given to a royal female at birth.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh

The word ‘sheikh’ can be used as a label for a head of a tribe in the Arab culture; for a member of a ruling family (as in Kuwait and the other Gulf States, for example), or for a religious person who perform religious duties.” Religion and Terrorism: An Interfaith Perspective, by Aref M. Al-Khattar, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, p.15

Important to note that the meaning of the word “tribe” in the Anthropological sense means a group of people, politically organized, that has the same language, beliefs, customs, and interests. However, some historians use the term “tribe” in a pejorative fashion, to mean indigenous, primitive, and insignificant.

“In such contexts, members of a tribe are typically said to share a self-name and a contiguous territory; to work together in such joint endeavours as trade, agriculture, house construction, warfare, and ceremonial activities; and to be composed of a number of smaller local communities such as bands or villages. In addition, they may be aggregated into higher-order clusters, such as nations.

As an anthropological term, the word tribe fell out of favour in the latter part of the 20th century. Some anthropologists rejected the term itself, on the grounds that it could not be precisely defined. Others objected to the negative connotations that the word acquired in the colonial context. Scholars of Africa, in particular, felt that it was pejorative as well as inaccurate.” https://www.britannica.com/topic/tribe-anthropology

Originally, the title “Sheikh” was more related to hereditary royal/noble pedigree than the title “Amir”.

Besides the sovereigns referred to above, there are several oriental potentates who should be mentioned, the rulers of the Sultanates and Sheikdoms of East Africa and the Persian Gulf (…) The style of these Sheikhs is His Highness.” “Titles: How the king became His Majesty”, L.G. Pine, New York, 1992 (Barnes & Noble) p. 137-138

In the modern United Arab Emirates, however, none of the rulers of the constituent states are called emirs (princes); all are Sheikhs.”

https://www.britannica.com/topic/emir

For a better understanding of the subject we strongly recommend the reading of the following article:

The Sheikhs El Chemor: a legal study of titles

Prince Gharios El Chemor meets with a descendant of Confucius

The great Confucius (551–479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. His philosophy, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

Yesterday, HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor met with Mr. David Kong, one of the well known descendants of the great Confucius and the vice-President of the Confucius international family organization, recognized by the government of China.

As a gift, the prince of Ghassan has received an autographed book about Confucius and a special liquor with the Confucius family brand.

The prince was very touched by the meeting since he’s a serious studious of Asian culture and philosophy for almost three decades, being requested to lecture all over the world since very young age.

 

HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor honored by California University

UUC cert
HRH The Prince of Ghassan always defended that education was the only “medicine” able to “cure” almost all evils of Mankind. He even designed a strategy to prevent teenagers and youngsters to be recruited by radical organizations in the Middle East trough distance education.
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Today, HRH was recognized by the Union University of Californiafor his commitment for Christian higher education and humanitarian development around the world”. The University was officially recognized in 1986 and was a pioneer in distance education also offering presencial courses having branches all over the world, the main ones being in the United States and Vietnam. The University is accredited by the DEAC. The presenters of the honor were Prof. Rev. Son Xuan Nguyen, Senior Vice President and Chief Operation Officer (COO) and the university’s founder, professor Ray Striler.
More about the University HERE 

One of the world greatest martial artists alive receives the Order of Saint Michael

guro inosanto

When someone mentions the name “Bruce Lee“, any other explanation is unnecessary. Well, Guro Dan Inosanto was not only Bruce Lee‘s top disciple but also his master of Filipino Martial Arts. After Bruce Lee‘s death in 1973, Guro Inosanto built a great name for himself being a very requested instructor a rare unanimity in the martial arts métier. He also has numerous participations in action films as actor and fight’s choreographer. It’s impossible not to be amazed by this man humility being the legend he is.

Therefore, it was Prince Gharios‘ privilege to honor him with the highest rank (Knight Grand Cross) of the Sacred Order of Saint Michael Archangel. He has declared:

“The greatest purpose of the martial arts is the person’s refinement and self-improvement. To make better men and women. The fighting is important but just a vehicle, a byproduct.  It’s a greater privilege for me to honor Guro Inosanto, than for him to be honored by me. He’s not only a great legend but, above all, a great human being.” 

Prince Gharios El Chemor is also a martial artist with almost four decades of experience, holding black belts in Karate, Kobudo (Japanese weapons) and the 5th degree of black belt in Aikido, awarded by the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. During the historical meeting, Prince Gharios humbly requested Guro Inosanto to become his disciple and, for the prince’s priceless fortune, he was accepted.

More about Guro Dan Inosanto and his academy can be found HERE

More about the Order of Saint Michael HERE

 

 

Prince Gharios El Chemor receives attention from the Chinese press

Since young age, HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor is a enthusiast of the Asian culture being an experienced and recognized  master of martial arts and an expert in Asian religions and culture, giving lectures in Universities and events. Also, since 2015, Prince Gharios is an active member of the Honorary Board of the Asian world Film Festival, one of the most important in the world promoting Asian cinema. It’s also notorious the fact that the Ghassanids were the guardians of the Silk Road in the Middle East, therefore being allies to the famous Chinese trade endeavors for centuries. Today, the prince was in several news websites in China with Xia Long Long, a famous Chinese artist and humanitarian.

Here are the links to the Chinese press:

http://www.wwwjilin.com/html/finance/20180426/4849317120617098679.shtml

http://www.shrxnews.com/info/165580.html 

http://www.cdjdjj.cn/zixun/20180426/709803.html 

Prince Gharios El Chemor awarded with the title of “Colonel” by the Governor of Alabama

Alabama Colonel Award

HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII was awarded with the title of “Honorary Colonel” by the 54th Governor of Alabama, the Honorable Kay Ivey. The Prince was also honored with the title of “Kentucky Colonel” in 2012.

He declared: “I’m very humbled and honored to receive the title of Colonel from Southern States, after all, I’m a Southern person myself, since I was born and raised in exile in Southern Brazil.”

HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor appointed as member of honor of the Balear Institute of History from Spain

HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII was recently appointed as “Member of Honor” of the Balear Institute of History, a traditional organization established in the Kingdom of Spain. The institute’s president is His Excellency Dr. Jaime de Ferra y Gisbert, a “Gentleman of His Holiness“. The Papal title, that refers to a lay servant to the Pope, serving in the Apostolic Palace near St. Peter’s Basilica in ceremonial positions, such as escorting dignitaries during state visits and other important occasions. The position is a successor to the earlier position of papal chamberlain, that existed prior to 1968. To be appointed is an honor.