The earliest known Arabic cookbook, from 10th century Baghdad, is also the first to mention pasta

This painting comes from the Khamsa of Nizami, a book of masterpiece illustrations produced in mid-16th-century Tabriz. It depicts an episode in the 12th-century Persian epic tale of Majnun—shown here in chains—and Layla, who awaits his arrival at her tent. In the background, at upper right, artist Mir Sayyid Ali included four cooks: One holds meat over a fire tend- ed by another; one brings a bowl, and one woman uses both hands to roll what is likely reshteh, a Persian word for pasta.

via http://www.facebook.com/agakhanmuseumtoronto/posts/508124335904915


Timbuktu library – a treasure house of centuries of Malian history

Famous manuscripts mainly date back from 14th to 16th centuries when city was hub for trade and Islamic knowledge

Reviving Art & Culture in the Middle East

It would be prudent to say that  there has been a resurgence in interest and the promotion of Art  in the Middle East in the past decade. Multitude of Art Museums and Galleries have come up in countries like Dubai and Qatar, who have invested heavily in works of Art as well as setting up of new Art Galleries and Exhibitions.


Lebanese Artist Saloua Raouda Choucair Exhibits At Tate Modern

The world’s first major museum exhibition of Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair (b. 1916) has been announced for Tate Modern opening in April 2013. Comprising over 120 works, many of which have never been seen before and are being exhibited for the first time, this exhibition will bring together paintings, sculptures and other objects made by the artist over six decades, reflecting her interests in science, mathematics and Islamic art and poetry. In Choucair’s 97th year, this retrospective will celebrate her extraordinary body of work and her contribution to international modernism.


via ArtsIslamica.com

Living Shrines of Uyghur China

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is China’s largest province. It came under Chinese rule in 1949. With few exceptions, artists and foreign researchers have been denied meaningful access to the rural areas in Xinjiang. Ross's close working relationships with a Uyghur anthropologist and a French historian focusing on Central Asian Islam have guided her more than eight-year exploration in the region. The extensive body of work from which this exhibition draws is rare in that it captures a time and place that is rapidly modernizing and transforming, as Xinjiang is now China’s largest source of untapped natural gas, oil, and minerals.


via ArtsIslamica.com


The first Quran to be completely handwritten by a non-Muslim American Calligrapher

Everitte Barbee is a U.S. citizen who grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s also a calligraphy artist. About a year and a half ago, the 24-year-old commenced work on a unique project: The Quran for Solidarity is, as far as Barbee is aware, the first Quran to be completely handwritten by a non-Muslim. He also believes it may be the first edition of the book entirely written in figurative calligraphy.

“I don’t know of any other non-Muslims to write the entire Quran by hand,” Barbee, who currently lives in Beirut, told The Daily Star. “I [also] don’t know of another Quran written completely in pictures, in actual figurative designs ... Normally it’s just linear text.”



Arabic Islamic Calligraphy in the Chinese Tradition

Master of calligraphy Haji Noor Deen wowed Harvard in April during a demonstration of his singular Arabic Islamic calligraphy in the Chinese style. Now his work is on display in the CGIS South building in an  exhibit titled “Arabic Islamic Calligraphy in the Chinese Tradition: Works by Master Haji Noor Deen.” The exhibit is sponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University.

Knowledge of Arabic and Chinese may help the viewer access added joys — tilt your head to the left and a Chinese character for “peace” gives way to a cursive Arabic salaam — but even those who do not read either language can appreciate the beauty of Noor Deen’s work.