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The Cultural Scene: March - April

30, April, 2021

In line with the Covid-19 restrictions, we are pleased to present these on-line events that are likely to be of interest to ABA members and friends.

Contemporary Middle East Art

9 March. Bonhams in London has launched an auction of works from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco and other Arab countries spanning the past century. On-line bids may be made until noon on Tuesday 9 March. There are 83 lots up for sale by artists such as Did Azzawi, Seif Wanly, Omar El-Nagdi, Arif Al-Rayyes and Louay Kayyali. Bids are ranging from £150 to more than £20,000. For a catalogue and to bid search here

Arts of the Islamic World

31 March. Almost three centuries after selling its first Qur'ans and Islamic manuscripts, the London auction house Sotherby's is holding its annual spring 'Islamic Week' sale, with advance bidding, telephone bidding and on-line bidding. Gems on offer include two very important Qur'ans, one originating in late Mamluk Egypt that was produced for the Chief Justice of Jerusalem and Nablus; and the other which is a more opulent version signed by the masterful Timurid calligrapher, Ahmad al-Rumi. Here are further details

Islamic Political Thought

15 April. Professor Anthony Black of the University of Dundee will consider various interpretations of the Qur'an, both traditional and modern, along with recent attempts to combine Islamic thought with the works of Plato and other Western Philosophers. This is a five-week course on Zoom beginning on 15 April. Professor Black will delve into the meanings of the concept of law (Shari'ah) in Islam, and the freedoms that Islamic scholars deemed appropriate for Christians, Jews and other monotheists. Tickets are available here

The Arabesque Table

Reem Kassis, who was born in Jerusalem and is the author of the award-winning cookbook, The Palestinian Table, has turn turned her hand to writing a new volume of contemporary recipes that celebrates the diversity of Arab cuisine, its rich history and dynamic present – all of which is quite a change for the former business consultant and graduate of the Wharton business school! Copies, along with pre-orders, discounts and free delivery are being offered in the UK by Amara and Phaidon publishers from 7 April at this website. 

Sudanese Popular Music

Sudan's rich Arabic, African, Christian and Islamic heritage, along with its rapid urbanisation during the 20th century, has spawned a unique musical culture. The Mosaic Rooms in London has joined with Spotify to present a playlist of Islam Elbeiti's playful range of Haqiba and African jazz, as well as other favourites. Among the albums included are a recent edition of John Contrane's songs, Work from Home, Kamal Keila's Muslims and Christians and Sharhabil Ahmed's Ya Dunya. Here's the link

Pamela Ann Smith

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