Tag Archives: Muslim Voices

“Calligraphy Isn’t a Dead Art”: A Conversation with Artist Josh Berer

For Josh Berer, a D.C.-based professional calligrapher currently co-leading a calligraphy and bookmaking workshop at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery, there’s much to see in the museum’s new exhibition, The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. Berer, who specializes in traditional and contemporary Arabic … Continue reading “Calligraphy Isn’t a Dead Art”: A Conversation with Artist Josh Berer

The Downside of High Cultural Status: A Look at the Great Mosque of Djenné

The largest adobe building in the world is located Djenné, Mali. Built in 1907 and towering above the town’s central square, the Great Mosque of Djenné is a prime example of Western Sudanic architecture. In fact, UNESCO designated the structure and its surrounding town a World Heritage Site in 1988. … Continue reading The Downside of High Cultural Status: A Look at the Great Mosque of Djenné

What One Father-Daughter Duo Can Teach Us about Classical Azerbaijani Music

One name you’re sure to come across in a survey of classical Azerbaijani music in our time is that of Alim Qasimov. The beloved musician, who often performs alongside his daughter, Fargana, is best known for his innovative treatment of mugham, a genre of melodic modes and motifs that form … Continue reading What One Father-Daughter Duo Can Teach Us about Classical Azerbaijani Music

Object Oriented: The Omani Coffee Pots, Symbols of Heritage and Hospitality

These two hand-formed coffee pots, known as dallah (دلة), were gifts from the Omani government during the 2005 Folklife Festival program on Oman. Only a few years after the events of September 11, in the context of what curator Richard Kennedy described as progressive “disintegration of understanding of Muslim culture,” … Continue reading Object Oriented: The Omani Coffee Pots, Symbols of Heritage and Hospitality

Calligraphy, Geometry, and Florals: Design Motifs in Kütahya Pottery

In Kütahya, a western Turkish city known for its ceramic ware or çini, tiles and plates feature a variety of design motifs, both classical and contemporary. Among them, calligraphic, geometric, and vegetal themes emerge as the most common. The reason why says as much about spirituality as it does skillful … Continue reading Calligraphy, Geometry, and Florals: Design Motifs in Kütahya Pottery