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New book features Kiswa as top Islamic symbol

The cover of the new publication on Islamic textiles from Makkah and Madinah launched in Sharjah on Monday. (AN photo)

Source : Arab News / 10 Jul 2014

The Kiswa, or covering of the Kaaba, has been featured as one of the most important symbols of Islamic society in a new publication launched in Sharjah on Monday. 

The book is entitled “Islamic Textiles from the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.”

The publication has pictures of the textiles created through the generations for Islam’s holiest places in Makkah and Madinah.

“This beautiful and scholarly book is the first comprehensive guide to these magnificent textiles, which have all been collected over a 20-year period by Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, the ruler of Sharjah, and president of the American University of Sharjah,” said Manal Ataya, director general of the Sharjah museum.

Ataya said this was the second publication from the museum highlighting key pieces from its collection. 

“This series is intended to draw attention to the artistic, historical and religious significance of our collections, and also enable a wide audience to share in their beauty and learn about their provenance. 

Academic and religious scholars will also find these publications invaluable.”

She said the textile collection featured in the book ranges from the 17th century to the 21st. 

“It stands as a peerless showcase of the exceptional resources, precious materials and artistic excellence that has been lavished on these textiles throughout the ages, and which continues today. 

It also speaks of Muslims’ heart-felt sense of duty and dedication in preserving and perpetually honoring them,” she said.

She said the museum launched the book on July 7, during the staging of “Travel through the Land,” an exhibition that explores transportation across various ages and brings together artifacts, 3D models, paintings and photographs from seven different museums that fall under the Sharjah museum. 

This exhibition is the museum’s cultural contribution to the Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2014 — a major celebration that has been organized to mark the emirate’s year as the Capital of Islamic Culture.

The publication is available at the book fair area of the Sharjah Ramadan Festival, Expo Center Sharjah and the Sharjah museum’s gift shop.


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