Exhibition that recaptured Haj journey
The exhibition at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque also illustrated the experience of Emirati pilgrims.
Abu Dhabi - 'The Haj: Memories of a Journey' exhibition, had opened to the public in September 2017 at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Visitors at an art exhibition got a close-up view of the significant role that artists across the Islamic world have played, in using calligraphy to transform writings into unique pieces of art.
This was showcased by some of unique objects and artefacts on display at the Haj exhibition in the Capital, which ended on Monday.
'The Haj: Memories of a Journey' exhibition, had opened to the public in September 2017 at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and ran until Monday. About 1,000 visitors viewed it daily, according to the organisers. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the British Museum, the exhibition celebrated the legacy of the spiritual journey, while recounting the personal Haj of the the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 1979.
Documenting the development of the Islamic civilisation over the years, and the rituals of Haj as one of the five fundamental pillars and practices in Islam, the six-month exhibition brought to life the profound significance of the holy practices followed by billions of Muslims each year.
The exhibition displayed over 182 artefacts on loan from many institutions, donations of personal Haj memorabilia, and traced the historical narrative and chronological timelines of Haj journeys throughout the ages.
It also illustrated the experience of Emirati pilgrims over the years. Six sections featured oral histories, archival photographs, multimedia displays, rare transcripts, and commissioned contemporary installations that explore the Holy Quran. It also housed documents and collections related to Makkah and souvenirs and keepsakes collected during personal Haj journeys.
"Visiting this exhibition helped me learn so many things about the history of Haj and how people across the region endured long journeys and difficult conditions while on their way to Makkah for pilgrimage," said Ukrainian national Ullian Joan, who visited on the last day.
Alley Mellissa, a German tourist, said: "I liked the beautiful display of various artefacts by several artists and the unique items that were used by Muslims in the journey many decades ago."
British Museum curator Fergus Reoch researched the traditional routes which pilgrims from present-day UAE took across the peninsula to Makkah, in enormous caravans of camels, wagons, and people on foot. The exhibition also displayed TV footage from 1979 that showed Sheikh Zayed arriving by plane in Jeddah for Haj, which he undertook a number of times.
Memories of a journey>1,000 - daily visitors at the exhibition
>Personal Haj memorabilia
>Haj journeys throughout the ages
>Emirati pilgrims' experiences
>Oral histories, archival photographs, multimedia displays, rare transcripts
>Commissioned contemporary installations
>Contemporary artworks, textiles, certificates, mahmals, souvenir