A summary of the latest Islamic lifestyle news from around the world.
15th edition of Art Dubai opens
Art Dubai, a global platform for art and artists from the Middle East and the Global South, opened at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai, from 11-13 March, according to a press release. It features over 100 contemporary and modern galleries from more than 40 countries across four main gallery sections: contemporary, modern, Bawwaba and Art Dubai Digital; a series of ambitious new commissions by internationally renowned artists, ground-breaking group exhibitions and world-class education and talks programmes.
Art Dubai 2022 includes more than 30 first-time participants, and over 50% of the gallery programme is drawn from the Global South, reaffirming the fair’s position as the leading marketplace and meeting point for art and artists from this region. New for 2022 is the debut of Art Dubai Digital, an innovative new digital art and NFT section that provides a comprehensive, 360-degree introduction to this fast-developing landscape, examining the context out of which NFTs, cryptocurrency, video art and virtual reality (VR) have grown since the rise of digital art in the 1980s.
Fashion brands launch Ramadan 2022 collections
With Ramadan approaching, due to start 2 April, designers and brands are launching limited editions and capsules for the holy month, reported the Arab News. Collections include Tommy Hilfiger’s “The Oasis”, the US brand’s sixth Ramadan collection, a collaboration between Italian fashion house Loro Piana and Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej, and London-based e-commerce retailer Net-a-Porter, featuring 27 regional and international names including Reem Acra, Elie Saab, and Marchesa Notte. UK-based COS is also releasing a Ramadan collection, as well as online retailer Farfetch and Browns.
Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) launches education-linked NFTs
The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), a training and development centre, launched Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) linked to education, reported Zawya. Considered the first of its kind globally, eight unique NFTs were launched on the Binance blockchain. Each NFT is modeled after the institute’s iconic digital cube and priced at $1,000, It entitles the first owner to do the Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance (ADIF) distance learning qualification and all subsequent owners receive 50% discount on all the Islamic finance qualifications and courses provided at the institute. Mujtaba Khalid, the BIBF Head of Islamic Finance Centre, said in a press release that linking NFTs to the oldest Islamic finance professional qualification in the world reflects the institute’s values in promoting technological developments within its programmes and offerings, as well as other competencies it has provided over the past four decades.
Hawa-Jane, Sacred Roots, 2022 (Courtesy: Art Dubai 2022).
Iraq’s National Museum reopens
The National Museum in Baghdad reopened after a three-year closure due to instability. Opened by the Iraqi prime minister, the collection includes artifacts from the Mesopotamian, Abbasid and Persian empires. ARTnews reported that “in the newly reopened museum, 9th-century Islamic antiquities from the Nimrud palace of Assurnasirpal II figure alongside artifacts dating back to the Neo-Assyrian empire from multiple millennia ago.” The museum’s collection was looted during the US invasion in 2003, with some 15,000 items stolen. Nearly half of the collection is still missing. After closing for 12 years, the museum reopened in 2015.
Al-Faisal Museum for Arab-Islamic Art reopens
The Al-Faisal Museum for Arab-Islamic Art reopened in Riyadh this month, reported Arab News. Following a renovation, the museum opened with a new exhibition titled Asfar: Treasures of the King Faisal Centre for Research and Studies, showcasing 36 rare manuscripts from its collection of more than 28,500.
The 36 manuscripts are divided into six thematic chapters: The Journey of Knowledge, Millennium-Old Manuscripts, Women and the Endowment of Knowledge, By the Author’s Hand, Rare Manuscripts, and Gutenberg’s World. Exibits include “Kalila and Dimna” (1346), believed to be the second-oldest version in the world; a 14th century edition of the Quran from Cairo; a copy of the second edition of the Quran printed in Europe, dating from 1694; “The Description of Egypt” from 1809, one of only five copies of the first edition of the encyclopedia; and a copy of “Book of Lessons” (“Kitab Al-Ibar”), written in 15th century Cairo by Ibn Khaldun.
Egypt discuss cooperation with Louvre Museum
Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, met with the head of the Louvre Museum in Paris to enhance cooperation, reported Daily News Egypt. Areas of cooperation include renewing a protocol signed in 2016 between the Islamic Department of the Louvre Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo.
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