Exhibition opened on Tuesday 28th January at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI, 30th January, 2020: “Coins of Islam: History Revealed” which opened on 28th January underlines the rich history and cultural legacy across centuries.

  • The exhibition was curated and organized by Dr. Alain Baron, founder of Numismatica Genevensis SA
  • One of the world’s most significant collections of Arab and Islamic coinage ever assembled
  • Over 300 coins in the exhibition which will run until 28th April 2020

Several officials commended “Coins of Islam: History Revealed” exhibition, organized by Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre. Held under the Patronage of HH 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), the exhibition was inaugurated today by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs at the Center’s premises in Abu Dhabi.

HE Abdurrahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, stated that “Islamic history and culture inspired this exhibition in line with the SZGMC’s vision.” 

His Excellency continued: “Since its establishment, the Centre has become a leading cultural destination, serving as a beacon of intellect and reason through its various activities. By displaying historical artifacts, like these extraordinary coins, SZGMC aims to underline the rich history and cultural legacy of successive Islamic eras across centuries.”

Commenting on the inauguration of the Visitor Centre and Souq Al Jami’ his Excellency stated that “Ever since its establishment, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre has worked towards supporting the UAEs efforts to establish rapprochement between cultures. While also improving the quality standards of cultural tourism across the country and transform it into a leading global destination. Today as we witness another outstanding achievement at this grand edifice that is considered an important addition to the integrated system of services and facilities, SZGMC seeks to develop and provide millions of different religions and nationalities. 

His Excellency considered such an achievement to be an opportunity to recall the founding father’s aspiration to create a spectacular masterpiece that serves as a platform to promote tolerance and coexistence. Sheikh Zayed laid down the foundations of the UAE’s moderate approach, making it a meeting point of cultures from all across the globe.”

Dr. Alain Baron, the founder of Numismatica Genevensis, stated, “One of the world’s most significant collections of Arab and Islamic coinage ever assembled, the exhibition will celebrate the splendors and achievements of the Islamic civilization across centuries and the unique perspective on that history afforded by its coins. It is our absolute honor to emphasize the SZGMC’s mission as a centre of learning and knowledge and to highlight the unique and profound role that numismatics plays in our understanding of history and culture.”

HE Sultan Dahi Hemeiri, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centre, commenting on the exhibition, stated that “The exhibition is an extension of SZGMC’s achievements and its role as a cross-cultural platform that facilitates intercultural communication. It also reflects the grand mosque’s as a positon leading destination that, annually, receives more than 6 million visitors, seeking to promote the vast accomplishments of the Islamic civilization achieved across centuries and highlight the commonalities and human connections between various cultures reflecting the founding father’s vision and aspirations.”

Commenting on the project, His Excellency Sultan Dahi Al-Humairi stated that “The establishment The New Visitor Centre and ‘Souq Al Jami” is part of SZGMCs strategic plan, that aims to promote the grand mosque as a global religious and cultural landmark.” He also added that “The idea behind establishing both projects support SZGMC’s administration’s efforts to ensure the smooth flow of its operational process and to provide the growing crowds of worshipers and visitors of different cultures with upmost services following the highest standards.”

HE Dr. Youssef Al-Obaidli, Director General of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, affirmed that “SZGMC is dedicated to fulfilling its civilizing and Cultural role. It aims to promote the gains and achievements of the Islamic culture on a broader scale through organizing many cultural programs throughout the year, including exhibitions like this that provide those interested in history with access to a rare collection of 300 coins displayed throughout the exhibition’s six sections. These coins originate from all across the Arabian Gulf and North Africa, and they serve as a unique and invaluable source of documentation that narrates the history of coins, based on the timeline of minting across various civilizations and eras, while also highlighting the commonalities amongst various cultures.”

While commenting on the Visitor Centre and Souq Al Jami’, His Excellency stated that, “The Centre constantly seeks to improve its services, and meet the needs and expectations of the masses, and provide them with all means of comfort in a manner consistent with mosque’s standards. This helps render the Centre’s vision and ensure the comfort of the mosque’s worshipers and visitors and facilitate their entrance to the mosque, despite their growing numbers. The Centre also seeks to offer them a comprehensive and enriching visit experience regardless of their cultures of age groups.” 

His Excellency also noted that “SZGM secured its position on the global tourism map as a leading cultural destination, which was clearly indicated by SZGMC’s total worshiper and visitor statistics for 2019 that topped 6 million. This reflects the grand mosque ‘s status as a prominent cultural centre that welcomes various cultures in an ambiance of tolerance, depicting the rich legacy and values of the Emirati community established by the late founding father.”

HE Noura Al Suwaidi, director of the General Federation of Women, commented that: “Coins of Islam: History Revealed exhibition showcases one of the most unique collections of rare coinage ever assembled, which has been collected from all across the globe. Through the display of 300 coins, the exhibition traces the historical evolution of Islamic coinage by documenting the coin’s date of minting and the historical background associated with its production, supported by rich factual information that conveys their cultural and historical value. Besides, it sheds light on Islam’s long history of engaging with other cultures and faiths.”

She also added that “The Mother of the Nation’s deep insight implicates her interest in such exhibitions that represent the enduring history of our nation and enlighten society in general and women in particular about the rich heritage of Islamic culture, and the extent of progress it has achieved throughout history.”

HE Noura Al Suwaidi highlighted that: “One of the main features of the Islamic coinage exhibition is the dedication of an entire section to women, which documents the significant presence of strong and inspirational women in various cultures across the centuries. This section showcases a selection of coins engraved with images of incredible women who left their mark on history. It also reflects the mission of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak to support women’s empowerment, as well as her immeasurable achievements that have played a significant role in the renaissance of the UAE.”

She also stated that: “The exhibition narrates the history of coins, based on the timeline of minting across various civilizations of the world. It also portrays the images of revered historical figures, as well as other imagery that depicts inhabitants and cultures and further highlights the commonalities and human connections between these cultures.”

Al Reem Abdullah Al – Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, also stated that: “The significance of organizing this exhibition at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s premises compliments its prominent status as a global cultural and intellectual platform and a leading destination that receives more than 6 million visitors a year. This unique masterpiece embodying the aesthetics of Islamic art and architecture was for consecutive years selected as one of the world’s top destinations, according to TripAdvisor’s – Traveler’s Choice Awards. It seeks to support the UAE’s strategy that aims to establish channels of dialogue and build cultural, intellectual, and humanitarian bridges.”

She also stressed that HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, through sponsoring this exhibition, aims to inform women about their rich history and highlight the historical time frame throughout which Islamic heritage flourished and thrived. This exhibition is also consistent with the SZGMC’s mission to revive the rich history of the Islamic Civilization, and promote its notions and noble values, in line with the inspirational vision of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who sought to preserve and highlight the history of Islamic culture and its vast achievements throughout history.

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