Monthly Archives: August 2012

Observations – KL Visit – Islamic Art Museum Part 7

This is the next part of the series of articles about the trip I made to the museum of Islamic Art in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last year with my family.

Taking the lift to the next floor from the Architecture gallery, we find ourselves in a small gallery in front of the elevator. Remember that the Museum applies the idea of Open Plan, so it is sometimes hard to distinguish different Galleries. This gallery is one of the case, where it almost combined with the Ceramics exhibitions further ahead.

The Gallery of the Metalwork is situated just in front of the elevator before the Ceramics gallery that wraps around the walkway which oversees the Quran and Manuscript gallery just down below and topped with the same blue hued decorated dome we saw in the Manuscript exhibition.

The Gallery itself, if you can distinguish from the rest of the exhibitions,is relatively smaller than the ones we saw before. The collections are small, but very interesting.

As the gallery is situated nearby an open modern glass wall-window, the artifacts, which are made mostly of copper and brass, glittered in the  gentle afternoon sun, as if they were made of gold or silver. In fact, real gold and/or silver metalwork items are very rare in the Islamic world, as the exhibit explains. The artifacts are mostly large serving plates, ewers and vases made of copper and brass, highly polished and decorated with beautiful carvings of delicate Arabesques, flowing Calligraphy and sharp Geometric motives. There are some examples of copper lamps as well as incense burners, of which the modern recreations you can obtain from a specialty shop.

Just outside the window, you can see a green dome, decorated with floral tiles and calligraphy in white against a blue-black background. You are not allowed to go to the dome itself, so you have to see it from far. The dome is not very well maintained because it was covered in water stains – hopefully the Museum will take care of the dome so they can show it in pristine condition.

One of the plates on display. The carving on the tray is magnificent, unfortunately my awful iPod camera does not capture the beauty.

Another delicately carved copper tray. Again the awful camera doesn’t capture the magnificence of the carving – a combination of Mamluke style calligraphy, arabesques and I think I saw some sort of figure.

This is actually a ceramic basin, but it looks almost like it is made of metal. This one artifact is featured just in between the galleries of Metalwork and Ceramics. It has the decoration of calligraphy stylized around the perimeter of the basin.

The green tile covered dome as seen from the Gallery. As you can see the dome is badly maintained but the door leading to the dome is barred – perhaps they were on their way of cleaning the dome.

 

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Eid Mubarak!

Since it was already Eid on last Sunday here in Brunei and last Saturday everywhere else, I hope that I am not too late to give you, my readers a big Happy Eid!

It had been a nightmarish hectic week of Ramadan and few days into Syawal. We were very busy with the house and everything to do with the Eid, and then the work time in the month of Ramadan were very irregular it made me extra tired. Al the time it took it made me unable to update the blog, and then the internet was problematic – again! Now the Eid excitement is fading and the internet is returning to normal (hopefully longer this time) I can spend some time blogging.

Once again, Eid Mubarak to all my readers.

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Tauheedul Relief

This post has nothing to do with the art and architecture of Islam, but it has something to do with being a Muslim and being a human in general.

In he spirit of the sacred month of Ramadan, I would like to invite you to take a brief moment from your busy schedules and visit the website below – please click o the picture to go to the said site.

Tauheedul Relief is an online charity website based in the United Kingdom for those who would like to donate to Muslims around the world – specifically the children and their family – who are caught in a worrying state due to the circumstances they live in.

The plight of the Rohingya people of Burma and the ongoing terror in Syria are two of the top priority appeals currently on the Tauheedul Relief agenda. Here are excerpts from the websites about the situation of these people –

On the Burmese Rohingya situation –

As the crisis in Burma escalates, thousands of children and their families are fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh and Thailand. The outburst against the Rohingya, often described as one of the world’s most oppressed groups, comes after weeks of ethnic violence in the Rakhine state in the west of Burma that has left more than 80 dead and up to 100,000 people living in a ‘desperate’ situation.

As the blessed month of Ramadan began, we distributed food aid to poor Rohingian children and their families in Thailand as part of our Global Food Programme (Iftar). We have expanded our food aid programme in Arkan (Rakhine State, Burma) where thousands of children and families are affected. We are also delivering aid in Maesot (Thailand-Burma border) and other regions where hundreds of Rohingian families are arriving daily.

On the Syrian situation –

Over the past year, we have seen the conflict and tragedy in Syria reach terrible levels.  The suffering of innocent women and children is heartbreaking to see. The United Nations estimates that over 10,000 people have died and 100,000 people are displaced from their homes. Each day, thousands of families are caught up in the violence; refugees fleeing their homes, without food, shelter or clothing. Our Save the Children of Syria aid programme began in Jordan where thousands of refugees from Syria have gathered.

Read more about our programme and field visit in our newsletter. We are also delivering aid to children and their families inside Syria. During Ramadan, we have arranged to distribute aid in Homs and other cities inside Syria.

Beside these two appeals, you can also donate to other causes such as giving donations for the Iftar, or breaking the fast for needy families on Ramadan or  sponsor to pay for an operation for a child with cleft lip. You can choose your type of donation, the country you want the funds to go to, and the donation type. The donations (under the current appeals tab) runs from a mere £10 (about USD15, or BND20) to a few hundred pounds.

The worrying situation of Islamic children around the world keeps escalating from day to day. From Burma, to India, to Syria and Palestine, Muslims, children and women are continually being oppressed for their beliefs, for their political stance, for simply who they are. If you have some funds to spare, I am sure the people who you gave the donations to will be very grateful.

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FINALLY! Renewing the website

I finally have enough funds to renew the domain! Yes I should be ashamed because it only costs US$18 (about BN$23, the local currency) but then,I am not making any money from this blog (no one clicks on the ads, obviously! It’s just there for some sort of cosmetic effect ), and even though I have a full time job  (that bars me from completely devoting my time to this website) most of my puny amount of salary goes to my family.

So the domain is up and running, and there should be no problems with the site now…hopefully…at least not until next year. I will post more articles in a few weeks time, it’s getting busy here with Ramadhan and the upcoming Eid, so I won’t be very much active this month. I am sorry for the inconveniences this issue caused and thank you for reading my blog!

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