Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization hosts photography exhibition on ‘Muslim Life in Europe’

Published June 17th, 2010 - 12:25 GMT

Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Bin Hamad Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Public Works Department, inaugurated a Photography Exhibition by Ahmed Krausen, a Danish Muslim photographer, at Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, and toured the exhibition accompanied by senior representatives from Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) and government officials.

The photography exhibition, to be held from June 17 to August 14, is entitled "Dunya – Glimpses of Muslim life in Europe" and aims at providing an insight into the lives of ordinary Muslims in Europe and connecting their lives to the Muslim community in the Arab world.

Over 70 images were selected by the artist to evoke major themes in the search for peaceful and harmonious co-existence between Muslim and non-Muslim communities throughout Europe at a time of heightened political, social and religious tensions.

"We are pleased to be the first in the UAE to host this unique exhibition. The images captured by Ahmed Krausen provide us with glimpses of the lives of Muslim communities in Europe and their compelling personal life stories. These photographs will serve as a cultural bridge in highlighting Muslim life in Europe and promoting peace with other Muslim communities and countries around the world," said Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department.

Ahmed Krausen's encounter with photography started in 1977, when he bought his first reflex camera, a Russian Zenit. "The camera has been the most important companion on my spiritual path to Islam. To me, the significance of light acts as a bridge between Islam and photography," he said.

Krausen was born in Aachen, Germany in 1955. He was brought up in a strongly Protestant family within a predominantly Roman Catholic community. This environment and the political events of the sixties and seventies shaped his personality decisively. In 1978, Ahmed Krausen left Germany for Denmark, and he has been living in Copenhagen ever since.

Between 1979 and 1985, the photographer undertook long journeys to Asia, Africa and New Zealand, searching for answers to his many questions about life and death. In 1992, he embraced Islam.

Ahmed Krausen is excited about the opportunity to show his work in Sharjah. He said: "This is the first time I can share my passion for documenting Muslim life in Europe with my brothers and sisters in the Gulf. I hope my photos will act as a positive reflection of their presence, their many different experiences and their aspirations in the societies they live in".

Aisha Deemas, Curator of Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, agreed with the photographer's sentiments. She said: "it is very interesting to learn about the realities of Muslim lives in Europe through Ahmed Krausen's images. While many of us know of course that large Muslim communities exist there, we know little about their mosques or their individual experiences. The photos in the exhibition provide the public with a unique opportunity to connect with fellow Muslims on a direct and human level".

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization aims to display, interpret, research and further develop the collections for a wide range of local, national and international audiences, and to stimulate knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of Islamic art, history, science and culture. 

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