DCAA plans photo show on Islamic sites
Dubai, September 14, 2008
The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA) will organise an exhibition of the earliest photographic documents of Islamic pilgrimage centres in the East in cooperation with Germany-based Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums.
The exhibition titled “To the Holy Lands – Pilgrimage Centres from Mecca and Medina to Jerusalem” will be held from tomorrow (Sept 15) to November 4, at the DIFC.
The photographs have been taken by some of the pioneers of photography in the Arab world. They represent the beginnings of Arab photography and are testimony to the courage and the skills of the Arab artists, said an official.
The rare collection of photographs belongs to the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums (rem), which the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority recently chose as its first European partner for exhibitions.
“One of the highlights of the exhibition is Mohammed Sadiq Bey’s photographs of the pilgrimage centres Mecca and Medina. There are only two other collections of Bey’s photographs in the world - one belongs to the royal family of Saudi Arabia while the other is in France,' said Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, managing director of DCAA.
Other photographs displayed include those taken by the physician al-Sayyid Abd al-Ghaffar from Mecca, an important pioneer of Arab photography. He created fascinating portraits of people right in the middle of pilgrimage centres.
Al-Sayyd abd al-Ghaffar was a friend of Christiaan Snouck-Hurgronje, a Dutch expert in Arab Culture, who took the first portraits of Muslim pilgrims, from across the world, from Java to Timbuktu, and from Maghreb to Baku and in Mecca.
He was also the first European who documented different social classes in the region like Sheikhs, Sharifs, Pashas and scholars or citizens from Mecca.-TradeArabia News Service