Shahidul Alam’s photo exhibition held at Bait Ur Rouf Mosque

Cultural Correspondent
Thursday, May 18th, 2017


Innovative photographer Shahidul Alam’s much awaited photography exhibition ‘Embracing the Other’ was hosted in the precincts of the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque on May 8. The exhibition has been organised by Drik Picture Library. Designed with the aim at creating openness and the ability to reach out the daylong brief show is expected to tour globally in near future.


Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, Professor at Department of Islamic History and Culture, Dhaka University; the photographer Dr. Shahidul Alam and Din Islam; the Imam of the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque spoke at the launch. Din Islam gave the welcome speech at the inauguration, thanking Drik for the initiative; Shahidul Alam followed next, as he in his speech described Islam as an open and tolerant religion that is misunderstood throughout the world. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim in the inaugural speech talked about Islam and its scientific rule for life. “Islam advocates beauty and art is a beauty”, he said while referring to the exhibition.


“It is openness and the ability to reach out to the other that appears to be missing today, in everyday life and in the mosque,” says Alam. He further elaborated that the original mosque, the first urban element in Medinah functioned as center for all sorts of socio-developmental activities for the Prophet who also is known to have permitted women to sleep in the mosque, and for non-Muslims to pray there.


Munir M Murali, the Resident Diplomatic Representative at Aga Khan Development Network in Bangladesh; Tasmima Hossain, editor of Anannya Magazine; women rights activist Shireen Haque and many other national and international guests were present at the exhibition.


The mosque Bait Ur Rouf, a work of art in itself has conceptual similarity with the Prophet’s mosque vividly in terms of the use of function-form relationships (the square and the cylinder); respect for the environment (use of natural light, non use of air conditioning); cleanliness (the mosque is spotless, with virtually no furniture). It promotes equal social interactions having no hierarchical position for the imam and uses just local bricks without plaster. The mosque, designed by Marina Tabassum is winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for 2016.

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