hajj: Mem­o­ries of a Jour­ney

A new ex­hi­bi­tion ex­am­ines one of Is­lam’s most im­por­tant rit­u­als

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - CULTURE -

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

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