Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization hosts first-ever discussion group on the sidelines of Vatican Exhibition

April 28, 2014 9:39 am

In an effort to stimulate dialogue concerning the wisdom and cultural practices of Muslim civilizations around the world, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization (SMIC) – one of Sharjah Museums Department museums – is hosting a discussion forum titled ‘Al Majlis’ in parallel to the ground-breaking collaboration with Vatican Museums, ‘So That You Might Know Each Other – The World of Islam from North Africa to China and Beyond.’

The first installment of the forthcoming ‘Al Majlis’ programme will take place at SMIC on the 26th of April at 5:30pm.

The related three month-long exhibition showcases 70 historic artefacts, which have been specially selected and curated from the astounding collection of the Vatican Ethnological Museum in Vatican City. It is the first time that items from this collection have been generously loaned for public viewing beyond the Vatican’s walls.

‘Al Majlis’, as the name suggests, is designed in the format of a traditional Emirati majlis, inviting participants to experience the exhibition while gaining insight into Muslim communities of the past.
It is anticipated that this unique event will result in a high-level exchange of ideas and perspectives across many cultures.

The discussion itself – an extension of ‘So That You Might Know Each Other – the world of Islam from North Africa to China and beyond’ is set to run on three dates; 26th of April, 24 of May, and the 7th of June – all at 5:30 pm, with a ladies-only edition set to take place on the 10th of May at 5:30 pm.

In conjunction with each event, curators will also be on hand to lead a tour of the exhibition. inviting participants to get a closer look at the displays, which include costumes, textiles, jewelry, riding equipment, weapons, musical instruments and other items of daily life originating in countries from across the Muslim world.

Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, remarked: “Exhibitions that encourage an exchange of dialogue at this level are rare opportunities. The works presented in this exhibition from the Vatican Ethnological Museum are the first of their kind to be showcased anywhere in the Muslim world. Now that the exhibition has opened, we are confident that the coinciding Majlis programme will encourage compelling conversation and the free exchange of views”

Ataya went on to add: “Increased intercultural knowledge and exchange is the focus of this discussion group. The collaboration between the Vatican and the Emirate of Sharjah is seen on both sides as a prominent symbol of intercultural and interfaith friendship.”

Exhibition organizers will take Al Majlis attendees for a special tour of the exhibition, where guests will explore textures, clothes, jewelry, equestrian equipment, weapons, and other items of daily life from various Muslim communities from around the world.

The discussion forum will be held at 5.30pm on May 24th and June 7th, and one exclusive forum for ladies only will be held on May 10th, 5.30pm.