Sunday, December 19, 2010

Take Your Pick: The al-Sabah Collection

The al-Sabah Collection has over 22,000 objects from the Islamic world. Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah's website has provided a selection of images of the objects. They are divided into nine categories:

1. Arts of the Book
2. Ceramics
3. Glass
4. Ivory and Wood
5. Jewelery and Jeweled objects
6. Metalwork
7. Numismatics 
8. Rugs and Textiles
9. Stone and Stucco 

I want you to take your pick from the collection and tell me what object interests you and would want to know more about. I will try my best to write up a post dedicated to the object you picked! 

This will make it a fun way for you to discover the objects and learn how vast and comprehensive The al-Sabah Collection of Islamic art is.

Just leave a comment with the number of the object: LNS number(s) letter(s).

UPDATED: Upcoming Events!

Monday, December 20, 2010  

Piano Recital
Bartek Rybak

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Music Circle Concert
Al Majd Omani Group
Omani Folklore songs and dance.

Hope to see you at the events!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Souq al-Maidan!

Join us this Saturday, 18th December at DAI's museum shop for a one day sale you won't want to miss! Bring your friends and family!

Upcoming Events!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Arabic Lecture
د. أيمن فؤاد السيد 
التطور العمراني لمدينة القاهرة

(For more info. click on the image)

Hope to see you at the event!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Unfortunately the lecture for tomorrow Monday 6th December 2010 is cancelled. Dr. Juan Souto was unable to travel from Madrid because of the airport/airspace strike.

Also the musical concert on Monday 13th December 2010 is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

DAI apologizes for the cancellations but not to worry Cultural Season 16 has many more lectures and musical concerts coming up!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cultural Season 16: Ivory

This Cultural Season's theme is dedicated to ivory from Islamic lands. The brochure for CS16 has images of several ivory pieces from The al-Sabah Collection.  

Ivory was considered a very valuable and luxurious commodity. Early craftsmen mostly used elephant ivory from East Africa.

If you have a copy of CS16’s brochure, have you wondered what the ivory object on the cover was?

This ivory piece is part of a sword hilt—the grip. It dates to the 14th century from Spain. It is elephant ivory and is carved and decorated with inscriptions and arabesques. Throughout the Muslim world, there was a unity in style of Islamic ivory work; from Spain and Sicily in Europe, to the Near East. Geometry and perfect symmetry were important elements. This is evident in the vegetal designs and organic patterns in this particular object [1].
Images: [1]
This sword grip is hollow and the ornamented section is thicker than the rest of the object. The sizes of ivory objects were limited because of the nature of this material. Judging from the cover image you wouldn’t be able to guess the size of this ivory piece. But this sword grip is 10.00 cm in length, and the width is 4.00 cm. 

Images: [2] An example of another sword with an ivory hilt; also from The al-Sabah Collection.

Even after the fall of the Arab rule in Cordoba, carved ivory remained popular in Spain to the 14th century.  That period of Arab rule had a great influence on craft traditions in that region.

-Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah's Cultural Season 16 Brochure.
-The al-Sabah Collection's Database. 
[1] "Ivory: A History and Collector's Guide", (London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1987), 190. 

[1] LNS 20 I from The al-Sabah Collection, carved elephant ivory grip from the hilt of a sword with pious inscriptions. probably Granada, Spain, 8th century AH/14th century AD.  
[2] LNS 37 I from The al-Sabah Collection, carved from walrus ivory; inlaid with gold. length 110 mm; width 39 mm. probably Deccan, Bijapur, dated AH 1044/AD 1634. 

Upcoming Events!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Juan A. Souto
Dr. Juan Antonio Souto is a professor of Islamic History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and vice president of the European Union of European Arabists and Islamists. He specializes in Arabic and Islamic studies.

Lecture: The Aljaferia of Saragossa: Between Cordova and Marrakech 

Saragossa was the capital of one of the most flourishing ta'ifa kingdoms to come out of the dismantling of the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordova, in Al-Andalus. The city is located in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula. A qasr was built at Saragossa, which was named al-Ja'fariyya ("Aljaferia").  The architectural style from al-Ja'fariyya was later adopted by North African  dynastys, Almoravids and Almohads.

Al-Ja'fariyya became a key piece to the architecture and decorative arts of Western Islam--a "bridge" between Cordova, capital of the Andalusi Umayyad Caliphate, and Marrakech, capital of the Almoravid and Almohad empires.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Club
Discussion: Arabic Novel in Translation
(To find out more about DAI's Book Club please visit our website.)

Hope to see you at the events!

"Traditional Arab Music for Orchestra"

The crowd on the night of the concert on Monday was nothing like I have seen before. In addition to many of DAI’s friends and members, the crowd consisted mostly of family and friends of the musicians and students performing; as well as teachers and VIPs from the Music Department.

Each audience member received a pamphlet; which gave an introduction to the Music department at the College of Basic Education operated by the Public Authority for Applied Education & Training. The pamphlet also included the program for the night.

The Music department from the College of Basic Education P.A.A.T. was established in 1986. It offers students training in all music styles and genres and graduates will receive a Bachelor in Music Science and Education.

The magnificent performance prepared for Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah was arranged and conducted by the maestro Dr. Abdulla Al-Masry. It combined music from Arab and international work with a “touch of Kuwaiti spirit.” The Arab songs were presented in the form of an orchestra, including western instruments and Arabic instruments; as well as a choir performance. It was a special night because that night was the first night the students performed off campus.

The concert included instrumental pieces, solos sung by students and opera singers Dr. Mahmoud Faraj and Dr. Hanan Al Gundi. Most of the night concentrated on the student choir. There wonderful voices which echoed in the auditorium were expressive and harmonious. The biggest surprise was when Dr. Abdulla Al-Masry explained how the college is segregated and he had to train the women choir and the men choir separately, and that tonight was their first performance together!

With talent like that, Kuwait’s music scene has a bright future.

One of the speakers of the night explained how music is an “international language,” and I couldn’t agree more. The musical performance was enjoyed by Arabic and non-Arabic speakers. You didn’t have to understand the lyrics; the music spoke for itself.

I was proud and honored to have been in the presence of such great young talent from Kuwait.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bejeweled Turbans

The great Mughals of India decorated their bodies with jewellery from head to toe. The only missing piece was a crown, which was something the dynasty had in common with most other Muslim rulers [1]. The common form of headwear for men was the turban. It is usually flat but the shape changes according to each period. Turbans worn by princes and rulers had luxurious ornaments [2]. 

The original tradition of wearing feathers as a symbol of power goes back to the Mughal's ancestor Timur. The feather on the turban was usually slightly curved because of the weight of an attached stone or pearl [3]. By the time of the early Mughal rulers, there was a new addition to the long curved feathers. Decorative strands of pearls would be hung around the turban and they would be held in place by a fastening or form of turban ornament called a sarpech.

Images :[1]
The sarpech came in many shapes and forms. Ones that are made of precious stones, in a way acknowledged the legitimacy of a ruler; because precious stones were reserved to be worn only by rulers and noblemen. The painting below shows Jahangir handing a sarpech to Prince Khurram--as a sign of recognition.

Images: [2]
The jigha was a form of a turban ornament that was made of bejeweled gold. To evoke the traditional form of a curved feather worn by their ancestor Timur, the shape of the feather was maintained in the jigha [3].This form of turban ornament became very popular during Jahangir and Shah Jahan’s reign [2].

Images: [4]
This magnificent emerald set jigha, dated to the 2nd half of the 17th century AD, is part of The al-Sabah Collection. It was made using the ajour setting. What distinguishes the ajour setting is the way in which large precious stones are set without backings, creating an effect of transmitted light. The way it allows the light to flow through it creates a spectacular effect that recalls stained-glass windows [4]

Perhaps the absence of crowns led the Mughals to increase the imperial look of their turbans. Turban ornaments were taken to a new level of eye-catching display and it only kept growing over the following centuries [3].

The al-Sabah Collection is in possession of several jeweled turban ornaments. This particular piece has been singled out because of its appearance on several exhibition posters and publications. 

[1] Manuel Keene with Salam Kaoukji, "Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals," (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2001), 25. 
[2] Annemarie Schimmel, "History, Art and Culture," The Empire of the Great Mughals, (London: REAKTON BOOKS LTD, 2004), 171 and 176. 
[3] Susan Stronge, "Treasury of the World" in Jewels Without Crowns: Mughal Gems in Miniatures, By Lucien de Guise (Malaysia: IAMM Publication, 2010), 95. 
[4] Information provided by Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals, Exhibition Master Pack, December 2008. 

[1] (detail of painting) Farrukh Siyar. Circa 1712-1719. Reproduced by permission of the British Library. Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia Catalogue: Susan Stronge, "Treasury of the World" in Jewels Without Crowns: Mughal Gems in Miniatures, By Lucien de Guise (Malaysia: IAMM Publication, 2010).
[2] Painting of Jahangir Presenting Prince Khurram with a Turban Ornament, by Payag, circa 1640, The Royal Collection Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia Catalogue: Susan Stronge, "Treasury of the World" in Jewels Without Crowns: Mughal Gems in Miniatures, By Lucien de Guise (Malaysia: IAMM Publication, 2010).
[3] LNS 1767 J in The al-Sabah Collection. Gold turban ornament worked in kundan technique and set with emeralds and diamonds, the reverse with champleve and overpainted enamel. North Indian or Deccan, 2nd half of 11th century AH/ 2nd half of 17th century AD. 17.4 cm high; 5.25 cm wide. 

Upcoming Events!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Concert: Traditional Arab Music for Orchestra and Chorale

Teachers and students in the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training Department of Music here in Kuwait will perform in a 22 piece orchestra, 19 voice choir, oriental quartet and guest soloists. 
The conductor Dr. Abdallah El-Masri will lead the orchestra in a performance combining classical instruments such as the piano, French horn and cello with traditional Oriental instruments like the oud, nigh, and oriental percussion. 
The "four dozen performers will take the stage to present an evening of traditional oriental music, with just a splash of western composition at the end."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Samaa Sulaiman 
Music Circle Concert  
(Program for the event)

Hope to see you at the events! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Object Conservation at DAI

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah’s own Sophie Budden, head of the Conservation team, was the presenter on Wednesday. Sophie’s very informative lecture was accompanied by a selection of photographs showing the activities of Conservation at DAI.

Having recently started work at DAI, I haven’t yet understood the amount of effort and time that is needed to look after a large number of antique objects as substantial as The al-Sabah Collection.

With 22,619 objects currently in the collection, it is crucial that the objects are in safe care for long term storage. One of the most important aspects is that the conservators are able to maintain and control the environmental conditions. Different kinds of objects have to be separated into different storage facilities so the humidity can be controlled with either humidifiers or dehumidifiers.

The conservators try to protect the objects from any form of harm, but sometimes life brings unexpected misfortune. In 2008, The al-Sabah Collection had to deal with some unwanted visitors—a moth infestation. Unfortunately, some of the objects were damaged. But before any further damage would be done, the conservators were able to get rid of the moths. What they had to do was wrap all the textiles (which the moths feasted on) and place them in a plastic tent outside in the heat. The tent’s temperature would rapidly increase to 180 degrees! And that extreme temperature killed the moths. So you have to understand how cautious a conversation team has to be when looking after precious objects. One open window or door can bring another moth attack.

The above picture was taken by one of the conservators showing a damaged textile (left)—and  as sad as it is that the textile was slightly damaged, leave it to a conservator with an aesthetic eye to appreciate the beauty of a tiny moth cocoon (right) made up of ancient fibers from the carpet!

Most of the Conservation department’s time consists of cleaning and taking care of the objects; and with 22,619 objects in The al-Sabah Collection keeping record of everything is extremely important. DAI has its own customized database. In this database, everything is recorded about each object. You would find a picture of it, the name, code, description, condition, as well as other information such as its suitability for travelling.

The pieces in The al-Sabah Collection are constantly on loan to museums all over world—from Los Angeles, to St. Petersburg, to Kuala Lumpur. Sophie began to discuss the difficulties of assembling objects for traveling exhibitions such as Treasury of the World and DAI’s most recent exhibition al-Fann. An enormous effort is needed by everyone to display objects carefully. Many carpets from the al-Fann exhibition required 25 people to install!

The objects have to be repeatedly inspected to see if they are fit for not only travelling to one destination, but to be part of a touring exhibition. It is important to know if the object will be able to withstand going to different countries with different climates.

Sophie also showed us how they were able to fix some objects that were destroyed during the Iraqi invasion. As well as showing us photographs of objects before and after cleaning.

    12th century dish destroyed then fixed after the Iraqi invasion.

The photos above show a dish that was restored before it became part of The al-Sabah Collection (top).  Manual Keene (The al-Sabah Collection’s curator) noticed that the design didn’t make sense and for a dish of this style the inscription would have gone all around the rim. The two images (below) show the dish, with the help of DAI's team, being fixed and now the design began to make more sense. There is more information about the discovery of this mistake and the restoration of ceramics similar to this one in the book Ceramics From Islamic Lands "Kuwait National Museum and The al-Sabah Collection".

    Cleaning objects: a photograph showing the before and after of a 7th 
    century silver lion.

The objects have to be carefully cleaned under a microscope with a small scalpel and it takes a month to 6 weeks for one piece. Sophie announced exciting news that DAI will obtain a laser cleaner this coming year. The laser cleaner was only recently available for art and now it will make the process of cleaning much easier. They will be able to clean some objects that couldn’t be cleaned using a microscope and scalpel. Now there will be no risk of damage to the objects and it will cut down working hours by 70 to 80 percent!

The Conservation team is also responsible for testing, pigment identification, wood identification and always gaining further knowledge of each object. The analysis of an object without causing it any harm can be a difficult task. In addition to the laser cleaner, DAI will receive another new machine that will make it easier to analyze the objects.

Sophie’s lecture was extremely informative and interesting. It was very exciting to have the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes, and to understand the amount of work required by DAI’s Conservation team to care for The al-Sabah Collection.

Fortunately, for those of you who were not able to attend the lecture, Sophie provided us with a copy of the slideshow where you can view below!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"The Chandayana"

The Chandayana is a classical Indian epic; a complicated love story. It started as a folk ballad and was sung for entertainment in eastern India. By the mid 14th century, The Chandayana moved from being a folk ballad to a classical story used by a local Sufi to convey a new religious message. It was recorded and written down and over several 100 years, was created in to 5 different versions. Mulla Da’ud became considered as the author of this epic.

Mulla Da’ud would read this story to an audience for two hours per session, and it took 52 sessions to complete the whole story! So it must be an important and exciting epic, if people kept coming back.

The manuscripts included paintings as well; a painting for each page. This was a very long love story so there probably were over 650 paintings! In the manuscripts, there are 5 different painting styles. The illustrations display all 5 of the Sultanate painting styles all in one story. The Indian paintings were brilliant in color, style and subject matter. The audience attending this lecture was privileged to see a slideshow of these illustrated pages that Professor Naman provided.  

Going to this lecture, I didn’t really know what to expect. Was the illustrated manuscript to be discussed in an art historical perspective? Or will it be from a different angle? To our delight Professor Naman Ahuja became a storyteller for the night. 

After The Chandayana was recorded and told as a Sufi story by Mulla Da'ud, it started to have a spiritual and mystical meaning. A man’s love breaks all boundaries for the sake of his lover. He faces death like experiences through out the story. All his battles are selfless and are for the protection of his lover. Every time he faces death, it brings him closer to God. The story, in a Sufi perspective, would be understood as a symbolic and poetic reference to devotional love and a union with God. The audience is meant to judge the man for all his mistakes in the story but to also sympathize with him and accept him as human. So this character becomes a sort of messenger for a Sufi teaching.

The Chandayana is the earliest illustrated manuscript of Hindustan. But the interesting thing about it is that it was written using the Arabic script in the Hindi language. So it would be very difficult to read. You would need to know the Hindi language as well as how to read Arabic.

The lecture was very exciting and who wouldn’t enjoy listening to a love story that has passion, battles, and drama.

A joke was made at the end of the night that it was surprising Bollywood hasn’t picked up the story and made it into a movie!

If you are interested in knowing the story of The Chandayana, you will find a compressed version as told by Professor Naman Ahuja by clicking "Read More"!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Upcoming Events!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Naman Ahuja
Ahuga Jawaharlal Nehru University Faculty Member, Naman P. Ahuja is Associate Professor of Ancient Indian Art and Architecture. His research and graduate teaching focus on Indian iconography, sculpture, temple architecture and Sultanate period painting. 

Lecture: The Chandayana: one of the Earliest Illustrated Sufi Manuscripts of Hindustan 

Chandayana, also known as Laur-chanda, was made during the Tughlaq to Lodhi dynasties of the Sultanate period. It exists in five illustrated versions, each in a different painting style. The story of Chandayana allows an insight into the importance of Sultanates painting as well as revealing their hybrid cultures; which consisted of influences from Persian and Indian ideas. (more info at Cultural Season 16

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sophie Budden
Workshop: Object Conservation

Hope to see you at the events!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eid Mubarak!

There will be no events this coming week due to the Eid holiday. 

Peacock Throne

The Mughal Empire in India was the richest Islamic dynasty of its time [1]. Shah Jahan, the fourth Mughal emperor (ruled 1628-58), had the most luxurious court of all his predecessors and successors. (He is the Mughal emperor behind the construction of the magnificent Taj Mahal!) Mughal dynasty was known for its rich collection of precious stones. Emperors of that time decorated the walls of their palaces as well as their bodies with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds [2].

A symbol of the grandeur of the Mughal court is undoubtedly the Peacock Throne, which was commissioned by the emperor Shah Jahan. The "jeweled throne" was made entirely of gold and was covered with precious stones [3]. The exquisite stones were selected by Shah Jahan himself from the Mughal treasury. After seven years, the Peacock Throne was complete. A prominent feature from the Peacock Throne was an engraved gem stone; a spinel [4].

    Images: [1]

Spinels are a kind of precious stone and they were highly valued at the Mughal treasury. The specific inscribed spinel in question was given to Jahangir (ruled 1605-27), Shah Jahan's father, which was then passed down to Shah Jahan himself. The spinel belonged to Ulugh Beg (before 1449 AD) who engraved his name on it. Ulugh Beg was the grandson of Timur, and the Mughals are descendents of Timur. The spinel also had the name of the Iranian ruler Shah 'Abbas I (dated 1617); who was the ruler who had given the gemstone to Jahangir [4].  

                                                         Images: [2]

 Jahangir's name was added to the spinel, and later included the names of Shah Jahan and his son Awrangzib (ruled 1658-1707). This inscribed spinel, among the thousands of other precious stones covering the Peacock Throne, was the most important [4].

The successors of the great emperors of the Mughals experienced a decline in their empire. In 1738, Nadir Shah of Iran saw this as an opportunity to attack the Mughal Empire. Unfortunately, that left the Mughal treasury in the hands of Nadir Shah.

What happened to the Peacock Throne during that raid?  

 Alas, the famous jeweled throne was destroyed and all its precious stones were scattered and lost…except for one! The inscribed spinel that was so precious to the Mughal family had luckily survived [4].

And yes! Fortunately for us, it is now part of The al-Sabah Collection.

[1] Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair, "The Great Empires 1500-1800 AD," Islamic Arts (New York: Phaidon Press Limited, 1997), 288.
[2] John D. La Plante, "The Moslem Conquest of India," Asian Art (New York: McGraw Hill, 1992), 57.
[3] Mughal India: Splendours of the Peacock Throne, (London: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 102.
[4] Susan Stronge, "Treasury of the World" in Jewels Without Crowns: Mughal Gems in Miniatures, By Lucien de Guise (Malaysia: IAMM Publication, 2010), 20-22. 

[1] Painting of Shah Jahan seated on throne. Delhi, ca. 1800 (a late copy of a lost original ca. 1640). IM. 113-1912. Collection of Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England.
[2] Cut from spinel, drilled, manually engraved with a diamond stylus, and wheel-cut; weight 249.3 carats. LNS 1660 J. The al-Sabah Collection.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Polonia Restituta"

The Polish Independence Day is on the 11th of November (1918). Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as DAI's Friends all gathered at al-Maidan Cultural Centre to celebrate on Monday the 8th of November.

The enthusiastic audience looked upon the stage with anticipation waiting to hear music from an organ, a piano, and a choir.

The Polish ambassador HE Janusz Szwedo was the narrator of the musical performance; which took the audience on a journey through Poland's history. The music expressed the misery, suffering and liberty of Poland. With the knowledge of the history of a specific period, as well as an explanation of the song, we experienced the ups and downs of Poland's move towards independence.

Maestro Valentina Maria Baginska performed several impressive organ solos and the exceptional vocalists sung Polish national songs. One of the vocalists, Karol Kusmider performed on the cello accompanied by Maestro Valentina on the organ. We were also treated with a beautiful piano solo by the talented Anna Maria Maszkowska.

Even though the performance was dedicated to Poland, it was celebrated by all nationalities evident by the international vocalist group which consisted of a New Zealander, Venezuelan, Indonesian and several other nationalities. The audience as well was very international.

The concert was enjoyed by everyone including the young girls sitting next to me who waved their arms in the air imitating the conductor!

Maestro Valentina expressed how honored she was to perform on the occasion of Polish Independence Day and how it took her 6 months to prepare and construct this program. It's a challenging task to express the history of a country with music in limited time. But the performance was a night to remember in honor of the Polish Independence Day.

Polonia Restituta. "Poland Reborn"

[Note: I would like to remind attendees to please turn off their cell phones or set them to silent whenever there is a musical performance or lecture at al-Maidan Centre. This concert was unfortunately interrupted four times!]  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Upcoming Events!

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Polish Music Quintet"
Concert: Polonia Restituta (Poland Reborn)

The Embassy of Poland will perform a historical musical production in celebration of the Polish Independence Day (11th November). The musical performance will consist of national songs and classical music from the 13th and 21st century, which reflect on the struggles for freedom and independence of the Polish people. 

The Performers:

H.E. Ambassador of Poland Janusz Szwedo - narrator
Embassy Vocal Ensemble "Polish Singers"
Amani Al-Hajji - soprano
Jumel Trinidad Carvajal -tenor
Anna Maria Maszkowaska - piano
Karol Kusmider - cello
Valentina Maria Baginska - music director, conductor, concert organist 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Club
Discussion: Pilgrimage to Mecca
(To find out more about DAI's Book Club please visit our website.)

Hope to see you at the events! 

“18 Strings Harp Guitar”

Cultural Season 16 has already begun! But the first event to be featured on this blog will be the third Music Circle concert of the season; which was on Wednesday November 3rd.
The performance was titled “18 Strings Harp Guitar” and the musician was Jason Carter. Jason Carter first picked up the guitar at the age of 5 and started playing the harp guitar at 18. He composes his own music and each song expresses experiences from his travels. Jason had visited Kuwait before and loves to interact with local musicians wherever he goes.

As he stepped on to the stage, the audience was eager and excited to see him play this interesting instrument. Before starting his performance he gave the audience an introduction to the harp guitar.
Harp Guitar is a 300 year old instrument. No music was written for this instrument so every one who played it was able to perform in their own way producing their own unique sound. Jason’s own guitar is a travelling harp guitar from Portugal and it can be taken apart. An original harp guitar would be much bigger than his travel size.

Jason’s choice of songs came from his travels to places such as Estonia, North Korea, and Finland. Each piece allowed the audience to enter a sort of trance. The music took everyone to a different place and time. For a moment, you forget the worries of life and the city outside, and it’s just the audience and the music flowing in the room.

Jason performed 4 songs then was joined by Ali Akbar, a local musician playing traditional Iranian instruments. The first time they played together was the day before the performance! You wouldn’t be able to tell because they played so well together and their different instruments created such beautiful melodies. The last piece played by Jason and Ali was called “Fusion.” It was composed in Kuwait the day before the performance.

The concert was very enjoyable as well as peaceful and meditative. Jason Carter took the audience back in time to where he wrote each song, by sharing a short story from his travels related to each piece. They were often humorous; especially of his bizarre encounters in North Korea.
Jason Carter ended the night by explaining how much he loves music because “music is very powerful, it gives the freedom to think and dream.”
Of course Jason and Ali received a standing ovation, where then the audience rushed to buy a copy of Jason Carter’s album being sold at the DAI store.

Welcome to DAI’s blog!

“The Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI) is a cultural organization based on a Kuwaiti private art collection. Since its inception in 1983, DAI has grown from a single focus organization created to manage the loan of the prestigious al-Sabah Collection of art from the Islamic world to the State of Kuwait to become an internationally recognized cultural organization.” 
DAI’s mission is to share the history and culture of the Islamic world. This organization has its written publications, its exhibitions and traveling al-Sabah collection; as well as the Cultural Season that provides lectures by international scholars and musical performances. Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah understands the importance of educating and involving the public. A blog will allow DAI to reach a broader audience. 
So let this be a place where you can come to read about the ongoings of DAI’s Cultural Season!