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A new exhibit at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto is focusing on Syrian history through artifacts and art. Zuraidah Alman reports for CTV. Related

via Toronto’s Aga Khan museum opens exhibit on Syrian history, art (CTV Video) — Ismailimail

Sufi Music and Peace

Dr. Karim Gallani and his troupe of performers give us insights into the origins of the Sufi musical style, and its broad themes of appreciating cultural diversity, divine love, and humanity.The accompanying ensemble itself represents cultural diversity from Pakistan, Iran, India, East Africa, and Canada. Related

via Dr.Karim Gillani: The Path of Love Not War: Sufi Music and Peace | TEDxCalgary — Ismailimail


My friends Greene and Anca invited me to help curate, advise on, and research their new museum showcasing objects from the revolving collection of Cat’s Cradle Antiques in Provo, Utah.

The museum is located in the upper floor of an historical building in downtown Provo with quite a bit of atmosphere.  What is particularly exciting to me is that the theme of the museum displays will change as the year progresses – for examples, we are currently assembling exhibits revolving around alchemy and the alchemist’s quest, and will later be exploring secret societies and their impact on American history.

The alchemy exhibit is particularly exciting to me, because I get to use my treasured alchemy certification training in preparing tinctures and other oddments as part of the presentation.

The current exhibit, running through All Saints’ Day, is assembled from objects with dubious and unsettling histories which produce a very disturbing atmosphere when displayed all together.

Check out the Facebook page, and here is a great article on the current exhibit.

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Religious leadership, both Christian and Muslim, needs to be more courageous than it has been, says Dr. Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches main governing body. “Without directly supporting attacks on the other religion, there have been some occasions when religious leaders have given a sort of silent approval to what their […]

via Christian, Muslim leaders sign declaration agreeing to stand against religious extremism — A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice: News and Views

Over the past seven years, in over 300 posts, I have written about many different aspects of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, from the context of an interfaith family. Here is one of the most popular essays from that collection. –SKM When we experience the religious rituals of the “other,” we usually cannot help […]

via High Holy Days: Interfaith Connections — On Being Both

“I believe strongly that art and culture can have a profound impact in healing misunderstanding and in fostering trust even across great divides. This is the extraordinary purpose, the special mandate, to which this Museum is dedicated… I think it is accurate to say that in Muslim societies the pursuit of artistic and cultural excellence […]

via Prince Amyn Aga Khan: “…art and culture can have a profound impact in healing misunderstanding and in fostering trust even across great divides.” — Ismailimail

Jesus on a Pony

A few months ago a friend started building a cabin in Sundance, Utah.  What if French monks built a monastery in Utah four hundred years ago, he thought, what would it look like?  And then what if someone came in and converted it into a ski lodge?

Regardless, his idea turned out incredibly cool.

And of course he needed a window for it.

I found a great early French rendering of the Flight into Egypt, and adapted it to the space he had for the window.  The infant Jesus had a look on his face which reminded me immediately of O. Henry’s “The Ransom of Red Chief”, so we nicknamed his window “Jesus on a Pony”.  It was fun to build, and we took photos of the steps along the way.

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Some Windows

Crazy Quilt 03

A while ago I started working on a very cool project, a number of windows for two homes right next to each other. The designer on the project is one of my favoritest people in the world, and her clients are always very creative and lots of fun.

The lower home of the two is primarily for the owner’s son, and there were some nice shapes to work with. We had to fill an oval and five narrow rectangles – the oval was about 2′ wide by 3′, and each rectangle was roughly 1-1/2′ wide by about 7′ tall. The designer directed me to allow for some view from the room but people outside couldn’t look in, and she wanted me to do something for the suite of five which lent itself to that number specifically. So, being the sideways thinker, I wanted to do a sun window and the five seasons.

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The design on the bottom clear pieces and color areas is made of interlaced circles etched and fired into the glass. The central sun is based on medieval sun illustrations with 13 spokes instead of the typical 12 or 16 (because I have to be different), and I used over 20 different kinds of glass that were mouth blown, very unusual, or re-purposed from much older windows.

The suite of five windows is based on five seasons associated with Feng Shui. Each window incorporates the Feng Shui symbol for the season, the traditional animal and colors, and a cool petroglyph drawn from Utah rock art. The ridge line in the sky scene on each window is the ridge line visible across the valley from the home, and each sky is etched with the alchemical symbol for the season and mother rede lines from an astrolabe (I included those because this home is for the son, and I thought the mother rede lines would help him remember his mom always had her eyes on him).

For the mom’s home, she wanted something which made waking up a fun experience. The designer asked me to come up with something which both hearkened to the owner’s family roots and brought in the arts-and-crafts flavor throughout the home. So I started thinking along the lines of a crazy quilt, but on steroids – using fabric patterns inspired by William Morris and his contemporaries.

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We used several different techniques and painting styles, mouth blown and flash glass, and whatever else we could think of to get the feels of the many differing textiles chosen.

What a fun project! And did I mention this designer is one of my favoritest people?

Nigerian Christians and Muslims gathered on 19 August to open the International Centre for Inter-Faith Peace and Harmony (ICIPH). The centre is located in Kaduna, where more than 20,000 people have died in various conflicts over the last three decades. Amid a growing number of interfaith initiatives in Nigeria, the new centre has a unique […]

via Nigerian Christians and Muslims open historic peace centre — A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice: News and Views

Awe-inspiring performances in a close match-up between Americans Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, and Russian Aliya Mustafina, are a cross-section of faith, race and nationality DE JANEIRO, Brazil — In a world awash in religious and sectarian tensions, the three Olympic victors in the women’s all-around gymnastics competition delivered a multi-faith mosaic on the medals […]

via Olympic women’s all-around champions: A Christian, a Jew and a Muslim — A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice: News and Views

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