Hajj: Memories of a Journey Exhibition – A Collection of Shared Moments

Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam. Hajj is not only considered as an obligation for devoted Muslims, they also think of it as one of life’s greatest pleasures. Most of those who visit the holy city for Hajj often purchase souvenirs to commemorate their wonderful experience of pilgrimage, and to give to their loved ones to share in their delightful journey. These souvenirs are especially prized by Muslims as they symbolize a trip that could simply never be forgotten.

As part of its duty to preserve heritage and culture, the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) partnered with the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC) for an exhibition that seeks to tell the story of Hajj and the significance of the practices that are being performed in the sacred city. Hajj: Memories of a Journey Exhibition will open to the public on the 20th of September 2017 in the grounds of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It will display a wide array of souvenirs that pilgrims have gathered from their own trips to Mecca and Medina. The public is encouraged to partake in the exhibition by contributing some of their personal mementos and sharing the stories behind them to further enrich the cultural experience of the event. By sharing the souvenirs that mean the most to them, people are also sharing their value of Hajj and the impacts that the pilgrimage has made in their lives. Exhibiting a diverse collection of personal memorabilia is like compiling short stories together to create one beautiful book. The idea to involve the public by calling them to make contributions for the exhibition was inspired by three attributes found in Islam: tolerance, equality, and diversity. The event not only aims to tell the personal stories of the people who are contributing their souvenirs, it will also offer a glance into the history of Islam’s spread in the Arabian Peninsula by the historical data and documents that will be presented.

The exhibition will be made even more memorable because it will coincide with SZGMC’s 10th anniversary, reflecting on the first congregational Eid al-Adha prayer in 2007, showing the significance of Islam’s fifth pillar to the establishment of the mosque. References to various verses and texts from the Qur’an will also be made throughout the exhibition along with the five pillars of Islam.

Hajj: Memories of a Journey Exhibition will create a new depth of understanding about Hajj, and Islam as a whole, for Muslims and non-Muslims alike; an experience that will be like no other. If you would like to take
part in Hajj: Memories of a Journey by contributing your souvenirs, please contact opencall@tcaabudhabe.ae. The deadline for submissions is on the 13th of July 2017.

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