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23 May 2012

A New Hajj Exhibition

I read a review of the Hajj Exhibition which opened recently, on 12 April 2012, at the British Museum in London.

A Collective Undertaking?

The new Hajj exhibition has been praised for its profound cultural importance by some. Others were critical, considering it an obvious whitewash of political and social injustice in the geographic region.

The photography featured in the review are striking. Most are copyright protected, so I will reproduce the only one that was allowed here (under Creative Commons license). There is a link at the end, so you can view them in all their intricate splendor.

antique map of Mecca as the center of the world
Map of Mecca as the center of the world; Turkey, 1650
via Leiden University Library

I liked the final paragraph of the review:
The exhibition succeeds in providing an understanding and an appreciation of a centuries-old pilgrimage that involves millions of people, globally. It allows non-Muslims to participate in a cultural, intellectual and perhaps even spiritually moving way.
True cosmopolitanism entails an imaginative act of sympathy with others.

As promised, here is the link to the Hajj exhibition online gallery.

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