In celebration of the unique, unprecedented exhibition from the Vatican currently showing at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization and featuring traditional artefacts and material culture of Muslim communities the world over, the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) will be hosting a rich and varied education programme aimed at families, community groups and students.
‘So that you might know each other – the world of Islam from North Africa to China and beyond’ is the result of an unparalleled collaboration between Sharjah Museums Department and the Vatican Museums, and the workshops are aimed at supporting their joint goal of promoting intercultural and interfaith understanding and dialogue.
The programme commenced on 26 March with a two-day workshop entitled The Art of Islamic Tiles, during which participants were invited to draw inspiration from the exhibition to create decorative tiles in a hands-on workshop inspired by the designs and stories of key objects. While the first day of the workshop was held at the Museum itself, on the second day participants visited the Sharjah Art Institute for further creative inspiration before completing their own artistic pieces.
Also taking place on the 27 March was a family workshop entitled Your Musical Instrument. This event was dedicated to discovering the variety of historical musical instruments in the exhibition, and participants will have the opportunity to create their own.
On 29 March, as part of the Different Disabilities Programme, a Jewellery Design workshop will be hosted. On this occasion, participants will learn about the various jewellery designs in traditional Muslim cultures as represented in the exhibition before designing their own unique piece of jewellery.
The education programme will continue throughout April and May. On 3 April families can learn more about the intriguing, hand-woven Moroccan fan in the exhibition during the Hand Decorated Fan workshop, while on 28 May, during the Islamic Textiles workshop, participants can learn about traditional textiles from Africa and Asia and embroider their own inspired by the designs in the exhibition.
As part of the SMD education programme, further public events are designed in the format of a traditional Emirati Majlis. These events will enable participants to join an in-depth tour of the exhibition before coming together over Arabic coffee and refreshments to exchange impressions about the objects and themes they represent, share stories and learn more about Muslims, cultures and each other. The Majlis will be held on 26 April, 24 May and 7 June at 5.30 pm. A ladies-only Al Majlis, presented in the same format, will be hosted on 10 May at the same time.
‘So that you might know each other’ marks Sharjah Museums Department’s contribution to the launch of Sharjah’s celebrations as the Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 and will run until June 14.
The 70 first-time exhibits featured have been selected, researched and curated jointly by Sharjah and Vatican curators drawing from the Vatican Ethnological Museum’s vast collection of tens of thousands of artefacts from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia. The exhibition marks the first time in the Vatican’s 300-year history that their objects have travelled to the Muslim world.