History under microscope at Makkah’s Golden Age Treasures exhibition

The exhibition captures Islamic heritage in a new and different way. (AN photo)
Updated 08 June 2018
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History under microscope at Makkah’s Golden Age Treasures exhibition

  • The exhibition, which runs until June 13, has also attracted university students who researched famous Islamic figures by studying the history and work of each figure.
  • The event seeks to inspire visitors and remind them of the importance of building a future based on science, tolerance and social participation.

MAKKAH: The Golden Age Treasures exhibition in Makkah has inspired dozens of young Saudi men and women to portray Muslim scientists of the past at the event.

The young men and women were selected and intensively trained to impersonate figures who influenced the world through their work and discoveries.

The exhibition, which runs until June 13, has also attracted university students who researched famous Islamic figures by studying the history and work of each figure.

Visitors to the exhibition are all welcomed by scientists of the Islamic Golden Age, played by Saudi youths wearing consumes inspired by the era.

After passing auditions, the youths were trained for several days to impersonate the Muslim scientists — and  managed to attract the attention of everyone visiting the exhibition.

They greeted visitors of all ages; welcoming them and encouraging them to learn more about the figures  they were portraying.

The exhibition, supported and supervised by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), captured Islamic heritage in a new and innovative  way.

The cultural and educational event aims to promote pride in the heritage of Islamic civilization and remind people of its achievements, which have inspired the world through its science and knowledge since the early days in Makkah more than 1,000 years ago.

The event seeks to inspire visitors and remind them of the importance of building a future based on science, tolerance and social participation.

The managing director of the organizing company, Zaki Hassanein, said: “The purpose of the exhibition is to introduce visitors to the golden era of Islamic civilization and the leading role of creative men and women in improving their communities, in addition to promoting pride in the 'knowledge treasures' produced by their civilization and inspiring visitors to play a leading role in their modern societies.

“The exhibition also aims to provide the new generation with the opportunity to learn more about their history and heritage and be proud of pioneers and heroes in an interactive, educational manner that preserves their society’s values and tradition.”

Hassanein said that the exhibition is suitable for all age groups and for all Makkah residents and visitors.

“It presents 1,000 inventions and attracts visitors in different ways to provide them with information through interactive shows, films, live shows, books, digital content, and workshops,” he added.


West End theater turns migrant camp to get London audience talking

Updated 20 June 2018
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West End theater turns migrant camp to get London audience talking

  • The Playhouse Theatre in London’s West End aims to immerse the audience in the squalid camp in the northern French port city of Calais that inspired “The Jungle.”
  • The immersive play offers a glimpse into life in the camp, telling the story of asylum-seekers, people smugglers and charity workers who used to populate it.

LONDON: London theatergoers used to spectating in comfort are in for a rude awakening after the authors of a play swapped the traditional plush velvet seating for wooden benches and covered the floor with soil to simulate the feel of a migrant camp.
The Playhouse Theatre in London’s West End aims to immerse the audience in the squalid camp in the northern French port city of Calais that inspired “The Jungle,” whose authors hope their play will stoke debate about migration.
“People often hold strong opinions about this subject because it doesn’t seem to have any immediate answer,” said Joe Murphy, 27, who co-wrote the play.
“Discussion is the only think that is going to get us forward ... and hopefully this play can provide some of that space for debate,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.
Co-author Joe Robertson said the pair had “tried to depict both the terrible conditions that existed in the Jungle camp, but also the hope that existed in that place.”
Up to 10,000 people seeking ways to reach Britain used to live in the giant slum before it was cleared by authorities in late 2016.
Immigration remains a major political issue across Europe, as well as in the United States, where the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border has caused an international outcry.
Several European leaders including those of France, Germany, Italy and Austria are to hold talks on Sunday to explore how to stop people from moving around the European Union after claiming asylum in one of the Mediterranean states of arrival.
Murphy and Robertson, 28, based the script on their experience as volunteers in Calais, where they ran a temporary theater within the camp.
The immersive play offers a glimpse into life in the camp, telling the story of asylum-seekers, people smugglers and charity workers who used to populate it.
“There were 25 different nationalities of people all forced to live side by side often on top of each other and the phenomenal story about that place was people did make an effort to come together,” said Robertson.
Theatre-goers are invited to seat at the tables of the camp’s makeshift Afghan café, where the action unfolds.
“The closer you are to the audience the better the message is delivered,” said actor Ammar Hajj Ahmad, who plays one of the leading characters.
Ahmad, from Syria, is one of many actors from a refugee background featured in the play. Several asylum-seekers the authors met in Calais are also part of the cast.
“I am proud of this, I love telling stories ... about the many people who lived in Calais,” said cast-member Mohamed Sarrar, a musician from Sudan who arrived in Britain two years ago.
The play, which premiered at another London theater The Young Vic, last year, runs from July 5 to November.