CAIRO - Celebrating the rich Islamic heritage of Uzbekistan, a new cultural exhibition has been opened in Dubai to show the lofty contribution of the Central Asian Muslim country to Islamic civilization and its pivotal role in the history of Islam.
"Uzbekistan is known as one of the brightest spots of Islamic culture and civilization in the world, Gulnara Karimova, chairperson of Uzbekistan Fund Forum for Arts and Culture, told the Gulf Times on Tuesday, April 3.
This exhibition opens a new chapter in our interlinked Islamic history.
Both our countries share aspiration for progress while retaining tradition."
Opened in Dubai on Sunday, the exhibition showcases rare calligraphy masterpieces from the central Asian Muslim country.
The exhibition, titled Masterpieces of Eastern Calligraphy and Miniature Art: Traditional Culture of Uzbekistan, includes a magnificent robe of the last Emir from Bukhara (ancient historical city and UNESCO World Heritage Site).
It also shows medieval miniatures and Zerafshan (graphics of sprayed gold particles).
The event was organized by the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation in cooperation with Dubai Culture and the Uzbekistan Fund Forum.
The exhibition, the first for Fund Forum in the United Arab Emirates, is divided into three chapters according to Elmira Akhmedova, the Director of the Center of National Arts.
"These are medieval manuscripts, rarities, and traditional art. There are more than 60 medieval calligraphic pieces in the first chapter; about 55 rare pieces, a few that have never been displayed outside Uzbekistan, Akhmedova said.
In the second chapter; and an extensive collection of traditional handmade crafts from all regions, of which a few art forms have been recently revived, in the third chapter.
"Many of the pieces are on loan from various collections both private and state, she added.
Organizers say the exhibition shows Uzbekistan's lofty contribution to Islamic civilization.
These three chapters portray the legacy of ancient Islamic influence and our country's heritage," said Akhmedova, the Director of the Center of National Arts.
The event also showcases Samples of Eastern Calligraphy and Miniature Art, a book by the Forum Fund containing rare samples of calligraphy and samples of the Qur'an design.
It also includes folklore performances from Uzbekistan.
Salem Belyouha, projects and events director of Dubai Culture, told the Gulf News that the event shows the pivotal role Uzbekistan played in the history of Islam.
"The country has produced renowned scholars such as Al Imam Al Bukhari who is considered a major reference point in the documentation of the Holy Quran and Hadith."
Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous nation, is at the heart of a geopolitical power struggle between the West and Russia.
The country, where Muslims make up 88 percent of the 28 million population, is one of the world's biggest producers of cotton and has huge natural gas and mineral reserves.Yet, economy is sluggish and unemployment is towering.