Carpet & Art Oasis 2015-ii

Century-old calligraphic items centerpiece of exhibition

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Jan 12, 2015

DUBAI: Every edition of the Carpet & Art Oasis brought something unique to surprise visitors. This year, besides a large number of rare and antique carpets, the organisers have set up a prominent portion to showcase sacred and religious items displayed for many years in the two holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah.
The pieces being displayed at the exhibition were once centrepiece of the pilgrim caravan to Makkah and now belong to a private collector.
For many years till the 13th century, pilgrimage from different parts of the Arab and African areas reached Cairo, Egypt from where they moved as part of huge caravans with camels carrying rations for months while travelling to perform Hajj pilgrimage.  The caravan travel through Damascus and Baghdad used to reach Makkah after travelling for approximately six months.
The 150-year-old Al Mahmal Al Shami, the palanquin put on a pair of camels to carry out the sacred Kiswah Al Kaaba (the traditional black cover decorated with Quranic verses in gold and other precious material used to wrap Kaaba in the holy mosque in Makkah) is on display.
The Mahmal embroidered with gold and silver thread calligraphy completed with red, black and green silk was commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II and renovated by Abbas Helmi II, the son of last Khedive of Egypt in 1894.
“Besides the Mahmal, we at the GEA International Trading with offices in the UAE, Syria and Lebanon possess a large number of Islamic religious and historical items being collected from all over the world. This is first time we are displaying the Mahmal and a number of other century-old items to give visitors a sneak peak into rich Islamic   history,” said Tariq Abu Saleh, managing director GEA International Trading while talking to The Gulf Today.
As part of the exhibition, the company is also showcasing a number of historical religious items, including an old 3×4 meter embroidered piece decorated with Arabic quote of second Khilafah Hazrat Omar Ibn Khitab describing the personality of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“The 180-year-old piece was called ‘Halya Wasaf Al Rasul (PBUH)’ and other such highly calligraphic pieces are being showcased to public as religious relics and also very sacred among the Muslim all over the world,” he said. Tariq Abu Saleh made clear that not a single item they possessed is for sale and even they did not carried out evaluation.
“These are sacred items and part of Holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah for many years. After displaying for general public in the month-long Carpet Oasis, these items will be taken back to different showrooms,” he added.
End

~ by jamilkhan on January 14, 2015.

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