Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre participates in 21st session of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
ABU DHABI - The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC) is participating in the 21st session of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, held from 15 to 20 March at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
The aim of the Centre's first participation at the Fair is to promote its presence in the cultural scene, and to inform people of its role in the promotion of knowledge, contemporary culture, interest in heritage in the Arab and Islamic World while contributes to its revival and renewed reading. It also aims to inform the public about the Centre's cultural and educational initiatives, recently launched in a bid to develop a mechanism of action to promote tolerance and understanding among followers of different religions and civilizations.
Through its participation, the Centre also aims to promote its activities and its first ten publications that are part of the series of its library, which opened last November. The library is home to about five thousand titles, including a number of rare books. The role of the Centre's library in providing and documenting intellectual production, as well as spreading knowledge and culture in various fields, will be highlighted. The Centre will also use the opportunity of being present at the Fair, which is a major cultural exhibition, to enlarge its library through purchasing new books, especially in the fields of Islamic heritage and Islamic architecture.
Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of SZGMC, said the Centre's participation in the Fair reflects an important aspect of the activities carried out by the Centre in its cultural message, while at the same time revealing some of its publications at a special pavilion in the Fair.
"The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair represents an excellent opportunity for institutions, cultural centres, and publishers from various countries to participate to display their publications and make them better known amid overwhelming turnout at the Fair year after year," said bin Tamim.
He praised the great and continuous efforts being made to develop the Fair, wishing this session of the Fair to be remarkable and distinct at various levels.
He pointed out that SZGMC is doing its utmost to contribute to serving society developing it at the cultural level, through organizing conferences, seminars, lectures, exhibitions and celebration of religious, national, and social occasions, in addition to supporting the research movement in translation, writing and publication.
"The Centre seeks, through a variety of activities and educational programs and educational for the Mosque's visitors, and through its library and services, to make the Mosque a hub for learning and discovery, in addition to its basic functionality as a place of worship and prayers, which enables it to move towards the restoration of the cultural role of mosques as was the case in the peak of Islamic civilisation," Bin Tamim Added.
Meanwhile, Talal Al Mazrouei, Director of Events and Activities at SZGMC, said that the Centre, through its participation in the activities of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year, ceases the opportunity to connect with other centres, institutions, publishing houses participating in the Fair, as well as others.
Mazrouei said the Centre takes part in the Fair, which is a meeting place for intellectuals and exchange of ideas, with a special pavilion that informs the public of the Centre's activities during the year.
At its pavilion in the Fair, the Centre presents ten of its own publications, which are mostly translated books in collaboration with the project Kalima of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. They were picked to be published as part of a series for the library of the Centre, mostly focusing on Islamic architecture, arts and sciences. The publications include "A General Introduction to the Architecture of Mosques in Andalusia", in which the author points to two historic moments; the first is about the arrival of Muslims to Andalusia and the need for the new rulers to have new places of worship new, benefiting sometimes from old buildings such churches and others. The second historic moment was that related to war.
Also among the presented books is "Islamic Architecture in Andalusia: the Architecture of Mosques", which focuses on all mosques in Andalusia in terms of archaeology and geographical place. The book "Mosques Architecture in Andalusia: Granada and the Rest of the Iberian Peninsula" stops at a number of important Andalusian cities and highlights the historical stages in the history of Andalusia.
The Centre, through its pavilion at the Fair, also presents the book "The Architecture of Mosques in Andalusia: Toledo and Seville" which sheds light on Toledo, the capital of the Goths before the Muslim arrival. The city has become over time a symbol of three cultures, and the headquarters of a school of translators, which served as a bridge between Arab Islamic culture and the rest of Europe. Also presented is the book "Architecture of Mosques in Andalusia: Cordoba and its Mosques", where the author focuses on the city of Cordoba and its mosques, including the grand mosque in the capital of the emirate and caliphate, the mosque in Madinat al-Zahra , in addition to other mosques in the neighbourhood. Although little remains of these mosques, such as minarets, but they still reflect the Arab Islamic dimension.
These five books were authored by Basilio Pavon Maldonado, who is one of the leading researchers in the field of Islamic monuments in Andalusia. They were translated by Dr. Ali Ibrahim Manoofi, professor of Spanish at the University of Al-Azhar. Even though these books are directed at researchers in the field of archaeology and history, interested readers can still be informed of the latest developments on the Islamic visual culture on mosque architecture.
The Centre also displays the book "The Art of the Islamic Garden", written by Emma Clark, a lecturer and gardens' designer specializing in visual and traditional Islamic gardens at the Princes School of Traditional Arts in London. The book, translated by Omar Saeed Al Ayoubi, provides rich evidence of the conceptual symbolism inherent in the Islamic gardens, pointing out the two main components of all Islamic gardens: water and shade. Among the exhibited books is "Islamic Textiles", authored by Patricia Baker, a senior international researcher in the field of Islamic textiles and fabrics. The book, translated by Dr Sadiq Mohammed Gawhar, provides many theories on Islamic textiles and explores from several angles the historical, religious, cultural, social and artistic effects, which contributed to the formation of the Islamic textile industry through the centuries.
The Centre also displays through its pavilion at the Fair the book "Lustre Pottery: Technique, Tradition and Innovation in Islam and the Western World", authored by Alan Caiger Smith, who served as Chairman of the British Crafts Centre between 1973 and 1978. This book aims to explore lustre pottery, explaining its origins and the areas in which it has become widespread. The author sees pottery as a source for determining the age of ancient civilizations. The book "Spaces of Light" serves to document the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with photographs, is also presented. This is in addition to the book "The Moon and Minaret," where seven of the world's top illustrators for children's books draw the prominent architecture of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, for children.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs is sponsored and supervised by High Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The Centre was established to be at the heart of a cultural and intellectual movement that expresses the cultural values and concepts enshrined by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God bless his soul, which are rooted in UAE national identity and inspired by the teachings of Islam.