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Madinah?s history showcased in ?Letters and Illumination? expo  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 21/02/2014
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(MENAFN -Arab News) The history of Madinah has been illuminated in words and images at a major art exhibition that opened on Tuesday in the city

Entitled “Letters and Illumination,” the exhibition includes displays of calligraphy and photographs dating back to the 19th century

It is being held in Al-Aqeeq District, about 7 km from the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. It falls outside the haram zone, which allows non-Muslims to visit

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman opened the event and toured the various sections on Tuesday

Ayman Hafez, director of the exhibition, told Arab News the exhibition is being held to celebrate Madinah’s selection as the capital city of Islamic Culture for 2013

The art includes the first photographs taken in Madinah by Egyptian Sadeq Bey from 1880 and Indian photographer Mirza from 1881 as part of a chronological photographic essay up to 1920

These photographs are from the King Abdul Aziz Foundation, the King Fahd Public Library and the archives of noted international bodies including the Royal Geographic Society and the Barakat Trust

There are also pictures of some Western Orientalists and famous Saudi photographers and young artists

The exhibition includes the work of various Saudi artists, including Ahmed Mater, Abdel Nasser Algarm, Arwi Naimi, Adel Qureshi, and Faisal Al-Maliki, focusing on the Prophet’s Mosque, pilgrims, antiques of the region, natural scenery, and aerial photographs of the city

Hafez said there has been a significant number of visitors including students, artists and scientists. Prominent visitors included Princess Adela bint Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Princess Fahda bint Saud, and Princess Haifa bint Faisal

Several particants in the exhibition are from Jordan, Egypt, Japan, China, Syria, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Kuwait

All the paintings are original, said Hafez, including a painting from 1825, which includes the names of 18 sites in the Turkish language, and depicts Madinah and the surrounding areas, such as the dome, the five minarets, the surrounding mountains, the agricultural fields and key buildings

Some of the pictures, shown in a three-dimensional display, portray the history of the area. A statement outlining its meaning accompanies each picture

The exhibition also pays homage to leading Arab and Saudi calligraphers including Shakir Hassan Al-Said, Ahmad Mustafa, Nassir Al-Salim and the Kuwaiti Farah Bahbahai

The exhibition showcases a special collection of calligraphers obtained from the British museum including Farhad Mushiri from Iran, Abd Al-Qadir Rayyis from Dubai, Hassan Masoudi from Iraq, and Fuad Kouichi Honda from Japan. This effort was organized in cooperation with two leading galleries, Athr Gallery in Jeddah and Agial in Beirut

Pictures taken by the Lebanese photographer Carla Salem stand out because she displays a mixture of Japanese and Arabic calligraphy. She produced a picture of the words qamar and shams, Arabic for moon and sun, on the trunk of a tree

The event will include the publication of “Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah,” a book that presents images from well-known world photographers and edited by the photographer Humberto da Silveira

The Islamic Education Science and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) selected Madinah as the Capital of Islamic Culture.

— The exhibition is open to the public until March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.


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