Islam in Sicily exhibition, opened [Archives:2004/699/Community]

January 1 2004

Prime minister Abdul Qadir Bajammal opened on Monday 29 December in Sana'a a ten-day exhibition on Islam in Sicily held at Apollo Exhibitions Centre. The opening Ceremony was attended by a number of ministers and diplomats and a large number of visitors.
The Italian ambassador to Yemen Mr. Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte said: on the occasion of “Sana'a 2004, the Arab Cultural Capital”, I am very pleased to present the exhibition “Islam in Sicily: A Garden Between Two Civilizations”. This event illustrates the history of the Arab influence bestowed on the life and culture of ancient and modern Sicily. “Islam in Sicily” unearths the artistic and cultural heritage the Arabs have left as a legacy over their two centuries of presence in Sicily, exposing a heritage evidenced by the architecture, prose, poetry, folk stories, music and songs, the names of cities and villages as well as by the linguistic similarities in the vocabulary of contemporary Sicilians. The exhibition is presented under various themes, namely:
The History: Covering the stories and events which led the Arabs to Sicily initially, their rapport with the land and it's population and the heritage of the Muslim culture in Sicily.
Idrisi's Sicily: Describes the island visited by the famous Arab geographer Idrisi in the 12th century in a musical and visual voyage of today's Sicily through the places written about by this pioneer explorer.
The Library: Presents an area of visual simulations which, though without photographs, are exclusively dedicated to documents with strong evocative typical images of the Arab culture.
Sicilian poets working through Arabic: Illustrated poems and tracts written by the Arab poets in Sicily.
The Common Ethno-musical Landscape From Sicily and the Maghreb: Proposes an exploration of the musical similarities between the Arab, Islamic and Sicilian worlds.
The Flaying Carpet: Reproduces the original wooden 'muqarnas' ceiling of the Palatine chapel in Palermo.
Ghiuha' or Giufa “The symbol of Paradox”: A popular humorous character, often genius transferred from Arab to Sicilian folk stories, and a character still alive in both cultures.
Cartographic illustration of Sicilian towns and villages bearing names of Arab origin.