On Thursday, 23 February, at 4 PM, Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir will deliver an opening address for the important new exhibit of Islamic art (“Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture”) that formally opens on Friday night. She will speak in the auditorium of the Harold B. Lee Library, on the campus of Brigham Young University.
Dr. Al Khemir, a native of Tunisia who holds a Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, is the creator and organizer of the exhibit, and has a distinguished background in Islamic art. The founding director of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, she has taught for the British Museum, consulted for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, written and presented for British television, curated for the Louvre in Paris, written several books of both fiction and nonfiction, and exhibited her own art work in Washington DC, London, and Paris.
Earlier that day, from 12 noon until 2 PM in the Library’s Special Collections area, “Discuss the much-lauded BYU Middle Eastern Texts Initiative with Dr. Daniel Peterson and Dr. Morgan Davis while examining rare and beautiful Islamic illustrated manuscripts on display from Special Collections.” (I may or may not actually be there, as I have another, conflicting, obligation for much of that time with some foreign dignitaries visiting Utah in connection with the exhibit.)
On Friday, 24 February, the exhibit will formally open with an evening of Middle Eastern music, dance, and refreshments between 7 PM and 9 PM in Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art. This is open to the public, and, like the exhibit, is free.
This exhibit represents a major undertaking, and will, I think, repay attention given to it.