hajj: Memories of a Journey
A new exhibition examines one of Islam’s most important rituals
Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, is celebrated at a new exhibition this month at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Hajj: Memories Of A Journey tells the story with artefacts, photos, multimedia displays and art installations. Inside you’ll find pieces from private and public collections but also contributions from the general public – Abu Dhabi’s Tourism & Culture Authority has been collecting souvenirs, gifts and keepsakes from pilgrims in the capital who have made the spiritual trip to the Saudi Arabian city, which will be showcased in a gallery at the mosque (such as souvenirs gifted by family and friends upon their arrival from Mecca). These objects, often bought at market stalls and shops in the city, are regarded as some of the most precious items a Muslim can own.
The exhibition coincides with the Grand Mosque’s tenth anniversary and will pay homage to the first prayer congregation held there in 2007 (the Eid Al Adha prayer). The exhibition will also look at the sacred city of Mecca and celebrate the Islamic attributes of tolerance, equality and diversity. What’s more, Memories Of A Journey will recount the story of the early days of Islam, and will look at historical sites from the Arabian Peninsula. It will also refer to various verses and texts from the Qur’an as well as the five pillars of Islam, which are concluded by Hajj and its sacred rituals.
Lastly, it will focus on the experiences of Emirati pilgrims who have visited Mecca over the years and will look at the challenges faced by those who make the journey to the city.
Whether you’re a Muslim or not, Memories Of A Journey promises to offer a fascinating insight into a journey taken by an estimated two million people from more than 183 countries every single year. From September 19
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, free. Tel: (02) 4191919. Taxi: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. szgmc.ae