baghdad. Iraq’s National Museum is expected to reopen in March, for the first time since Saddam Hussein’s rule. Although the Assyrian and Islamic displays were reinstalled in two main rooms in 2008, they have only been accessible to VIPs and invited groups. “It will be the answer to my dreams when we can finally reopen to the public,” said Amira Edan, the museum’s director.
The Baghdad museum was closed in late 2002, a few months before the coalition’s invasion. It had also been shut from the 1991 Gulf War to April 2000. This means that the museum has been open for not much more than two of the past 20 years, virtually barring it from an entire generation of Iraqis.
A rarely-seen manuscript of one of the world’s most important copies of the Koran is to be published online.
The hand-written holy book, estimated to be around 500 years old, is so precious and fragile scholars have been unable to put it on display.
Now experts at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library are using digital technology to photograph each page and publish the book online to enable scholars and students to study it.
Analysis of the digital images should aid scholars to date the manuscript more accurately.
‘Hurouf: The Art of the Word’ traces the developments of the Arabic script from its inception, with kufic leaves dating from the 8th century, through popular calligraphy of the 19th century to the highest calibre works by international calligraphers working today. In selecting some of the most talented, revered and innovative calligraphers working with the Arabic script from, among others, Japan, the United States, Turkey, the Middle East, China and the Indian Sub- Continent, the auction aims to represent the developments of an art form that has entered its second millennium. The sale features monumental pieces on canvas, in bronze and neon too, by – among others – leading artists such as Farhad Moshiri, Ahmed Moustafa, Parviz Tanavoli, Hassan Massoudy, Mohammed Ehsai, Ali Omar Ermes, Sadequain and Laila Shawa, and of particular relevance to Qatar are local artists Yousef Ahmad and Ali Hassan and resident artist MF Hussain.
Three Faiths includes 200 rare and precious works created over the past 1,500 years. Among them, great works of the miniaturist’s art and of calligraphy, drawn from all three faiths, delight the eye, as they have done since their creation centuries ago. Manuscript materials are accompanied by some of the most significant printed works of the past 550 years. The scrolls, codices, illuminated manuscripts, and printed volumes are complemented selectively by important bindings, early photographs, prints, maps, and liturgical or ritual objects dating from the fifth century of the Common Era (CE) to the present.
Traces of the Calligrapher: Islamic Calligraphy in Practice, c. 1600–1900 presents elegant and masterful works of calligraphy alongside the finely rendered tools used to create them, such as inkwells, penknives, burnishers, and paper scissors. The accompanying exhibition Writing the Word of God: Calligraphy and the Qur’an brings to light key developments in the Islamic scripts from Spain to North Africa and to Greater Iran through a selection of folios from Qur’ans dating from the seventh century to the fifteenth century. Together, these exhibitions reveal the significant role of calligraphy and calligraphers in the Islamic lands across several centuries and two continents.
Egypt is home to dozens of museums, from downtown’s hugely popular Egyptian Museum to the strange and too-often overlooked Agricultural Museum. Each Wednesday, as part of a new series focusing on the diverse world of Egyptian treasures new and old, Al-Masry Al-Youm will take a close look at one of these museums.
This week, we examine the Museum of Islamic Art, whose renovation process is perhaps as interesting at its artifacts.
LONDON.- Christie’s Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds sale on 5 October, presents a wealth of over 400 rare and beautiful treasures of high quality and significant provenance which span the 9th to the 19th century. Setting the tone, the sale begins with 50 lots from the core of Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi’s classical Islamic Art collection. The group is led by an extremely rare Fatimid Egyptian carved wooden panel, circa 1150 (estimate: £400,000-600,000) and a late 18th century Indian emerald, ruby and diamond parrot (estimate: £400,000-600,000), which is one of seven spectacular Mughal and Deccani jewelled gold objets de vertu featured. Christie’s Dubai will offer the second sale of Modern Arab Art from the Farsi Collection on the 26th October.
For over 700 years the international language of science was Arabic. This book celebrates the forgotten pioneers who helped shape our understanding of the world.
The Epic of the Persian Kings exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge features illustrations inspired by the Shahnameh – poet Ferdowsi’s Book of Kings – on its 1,000th anniversary.
In Persian literature it’s a given that the Shahnameh – Book of Kings – is a timeless classic; In the West however the work is probably less well-known now than in Victorian times.
A new exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge focuses on the gorgeous artwork the Shahnameh has inspired over the centuries.
London, England (CNN) — A “groundbreaking” new exhibition of rare artifacts from Saudi Arabia’s ancient past — some which have never been shown abroad — has opened in the Louvre, Paris.
The world-famous museum is hosting Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a traveling exhibition showcasing 300 archeological treasures found in the Gulf country, many pre-dating the birth of Islam.
A project to transform a derelict church has received a £52,000 donation – from the mosque across the road.
The money will be used to fund the restoration of the former United Reformed Church on Stockport Road in a bid to create Levenshulme Inspire, a multi-use community centre.
Bohra Mosque, which opened two years ago as Manchester’s first eco- mosque, made the donation – and religious leaders hope the money will be used to help community and symbolize successful inter-faith relationships in Levenshulme.
Dr Mustafa Abdulhussein, trustee at the Bohra mosque said: “Levenshulme Inspire promises to be the most beneficial project in decades for the youth of the area and certainly deserves the support it has got.
“I am sure it will be a huge asset to Levenshulme and the mosque is pleased to contribute to it.”
It is 5:50 in the morning, and dark shadows scurry through narrow alleys to the mosque, as the call to prayer echoes from a minaret in Kaifeng. This city in central China’s Henan province has an Islamic enclave, where Muslims have lived for more than 1,000 years.In an alleyway called Wangjia hutong, women go to their own mosque, where Yao Baoxia leads prayers. For 14 years, Yao has been a female imam, or ahong as they are called here, a word derived from Persian.
Korea is one of the most homogenous countries in the world–through most of history, save the many invasions, nearly everyone in Korea has been ethnically Korean and Korean-speaking. What regional dialects there are are largely mutually intelligible (though perhaps still surprising for such a small country), and outside of a small number of Chinese, ethnic minorities are virtually non-existent.
Well, things are changing, due to two great forces at work.
First, as has been much noted in the U.S. press, a relative lack of young women (as a result of historical sex selection by parents) and the undesirability in marriage of relatively poor Korean farmers have resulted in a large number of international marriages between Korean men and Vietnamese and other women from poorer Asian countries. This has led to quite a large number of Vietnamese women in the Korean countryside and resulting children of mixed marriages.
The second cause is Korea’s prominence in the global economy.
Plans announced for late 2011 and early 2012 also include a one-off show on the Afghan capital, Kabul
Two major exhibitions about Christianity and Islam form the backbone of the British Museum’s plans for late 2011 and early 2012, it was announced today.
The museum will also borrow more than 200 objects from the recently rebuilt National Museum in the Afghan capital, Kabul, for a one-off show exploring the city’s historical background as a cultural crossroad.
Over the last two years I have been on an extraordinary journey. As a member of a research team accompanying American University’s Chair of Islamic Studies, Akbar Ahmed, I have visited over 75 US cities and 100 mosques for the book Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, which is published this month by the Brookings Institution Press. During our fieldwork, I learned a great deal about America’s Muslim community, the religion they practice, and their various cultures. But what surprised me the most was what I learned about America.
The Tangled Braid
99 Poems by Hafiz of Shiraz
Khwaja Shams ud-Din Hafiz-i Shirazi
Translators: Jeffrey Einboden and John Slater
Alamgir Mosque, rising above the ghats on the right. The mosque is said to have been built by Aurangzeb on the site of a former Hindu temple and so is a point of contention–police guard the building against attacks. The minarets have been shortened in order to reduce the building’s profile.
The title of this post is somewhat over-general, but I did want to make certain broad points on Islam in India, as I have done in previous posts (see post of 2008.08.16 on Indonesia and 2008.11.14 on the Balkans).
India has the third largest Muslim population in the world. This is an oft-cited fact and one you’ve perhaps already heard. The Indian Subcontinent taken together has almost a third of all of the Muslims in the world, and India has just about as many Muslims as Pakistan or Bangladesh. These three countries and Indonesia are, by far, the greatest countries in terms of Muslim population–no Arab or Middle Eastern country even comes close. They are, in one sense, Islam’s center of gravity.
On May 12, 2010, in Bloomington, USA, the Dalai Lama, joined by a panel of select scholars, officially launched the Common Ground project, which he and HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan had planned over the course of several years of personal conversations. The project is based on the book ‘Common Ground between Islam and Buddhism’, which was commissioned by HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad. It is hoped, with the publication of this work that the spiritual relationship between the two traditions will flower in many ways, including the promotion of a new realm of scholarship and research. The participants on the panel included Ingrid Mattson, Eboo Patel, and Reza Shah-Kazemi.Read more at www.islambuddhism.com