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15th Century Quran Leaf in Bihari Script
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November 2011

The Met Resets a Gem

n November, after an eight-year, $50-million renovation, 15 galleries devoted to “The Arts of Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia” will open in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art….

Detail from a folio based on the 1375 “Catalan Atlas” by Abraham Cresques.

Pioneer Physicians

With their legacies of life saving innovations, among the many who helped swing open the door to modern medicine were five whose contributions still resonate.

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The Life of Rumi

Jalaluddin Rumi Jalaluddin Rumi, better known simply as Rumi, was perhaps the finest Persian poet of all time and a great influence on Muslim writing and culture. His poetry is still well known…

Tughra or the official signature of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, circa 1555-60.

In Search of Divine Truth

Striving for beauty through proximity to God is a theme that has always permeated Muslim poetry in different historical contexts. Here’s a look at poetics and ethics in Islamic art. Let the beauty…

10th Century Bowl

The Met Says ‘Open Sesame’

In New York, the glories of Islamic art are laid before the world. A gorgeous salad-bowl-size ceramic dazzles the eye upon entry. The bowl suggests a highly refined and thoughtful curatorial choice as…

Mughal Gardens in Kashmir

By the time Kashmir passed into the hands of the Mughals in the 16th C., these gardens embedded with the Persian spirit were already established in Kashmir. What perhaps the Mughals did later…

Agra - Red Fort

The Agra Fort

Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the…

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SADEQUAIN’S Calligraphy

Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance, Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Pakistani Awards), also often referred to as Sadequain Naqqash, was a world-renowned Pakistani artist, best known for his skills as a calligrapher and a…

Taç Kapı Detay (65)B

Divriği Ulucami and Şifahane (Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital)

The western section of the mosque was rebuilt after its complete destruction in the great earthquake which occurred at the beginning of the 16th century. The plan consists of five naves running perpendicular…

Al-Azhar Mosque

The al-Azhar Mosque (970)

Al-Azhar is today the most celebrated of all Cairo’s medieval mosques, more because of its historic and reli­gious importance than its aesthetic value. It was the first mosque built in Fatimid Cairo and…

Building Crafts

Crafts In Islamic Architecture

Creativity in traditional Islamic crafts  At the risk of appearing to be quibbling over semantics, let me first of all state simply and clearly what I understand by the terms “creativity”, “traditional”, and…

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