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Abu Dhabi

Knowledge from old coins will encourage people to love other cultures, religions: Curator

Filed on February 6, 2020 | Last updated on February 6, 2020 at 06.58 pm
coins, curator, islam


The three-month long temporary exhibition will end on April 28.

A coin exhibition at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is telling the visitors how religions and cultures coexisted in the past.

The coins dating back centuries at the ongoing exhibition titled 'Coins of Islam: History Revealed' offers "knowledge" on harmony that promotes the message of tolerance, officials told Emirates News Agency (WAM).

"Knowledge unites people. When you know people [of other religions and cultures], you start loving them," said Dr. Alain Baron, the founder of Numismatica Genevensis and curator of the exhibition.

The three-month long temporary exhibition with a special section on tolerance at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC) will end on April 28.

Most of the UAE residents of around 200 nationalities can find their own roots at the exhibition, as more than 300 coins on display may somehow be related to their culture, tradition or history, Dr. Baron explained.

"Therefore, the exhibition does act as a bridge between cultures," the curator said.

One of the world's most significant collections of Arab and Islamic coinage ever assembled, the exhibition also gives insights on women's role in history, said Ameena Al Hammadi, Acting Head of Cultural and Guidance Section at SZGMC.

"There is a dedicated section that celebrates significant presence of women in history. When we mention that history, we cannot forget H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and her support to women's empowerment in the UAE," she explained.

Dr Baron, the curator, added in this regard, saying, "Ladies always had an important role in Greek, Roman history as well in Islamic history. In all civilisations, women were very important but they were kept silent. This exhibition highlights the role of women in ancient civilisation and Islamic civilisation in particular."

Held under the Patronage of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the exhibition was inaugurated by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, on January 28.

Since the opening, the exhibition received a big number of visitors from different cultural backgrounds, said Ameena Al Hammadi.

It is organised to reflect the message of cultural coexistence symbolised by Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the legacy of the nation's Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, she said.

"Visitors can start their journey with the coins reflecting the idea of tolerance and complete the tour with discovering coins before Islam, which was influenced by different cultures," Al Hammadi noted.

The exhibition traces the historical evolution of coinage throughout history, documented by the coin's date of minting, and the historical background associated with its production, while also being backed up with historical facts that enhance its cultural value, she explained.

The exhibition at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's premises compliments its prominent status as a global cultural and intellectual podium and a leading destination that receives more than 6 million visitors a year.

The Mosque, a unique masterpiece that embodies the aesthetics of Islamic art and architecture, was selected for consecutive years as one of the world's top destinations.


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