Art: A Kuwaiti Experience Connecting Cultures

Art: A Kuwaiti Experience Connecting Cultures

Annual Lecture Series featuring Her Excellency, Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah
Organized and moderated by Dr. Souad T. Ali, Council for Arabic and Islamic Studies founding chair

The lecture will present Sheikha Hussah’s journey of self-discovery as a collector, a director and an eternal student, starting with the impact of bringing one decorative vase into her home, which ignited a passion for both understanding and appreciating the objects and opportunities inherent in The al-Sabah Collection. Learn how one decorative vase was the catalyst for cultural connections that today truly span the globe.

"Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah" is the institution based upon the al-Sabah Collection. The collection is considered by many scholars to be among the most important concentrations of Islamic art in the world. The collection, once destroyed during the Iraqi invasion, preserves and presents all aspects of art. It now includes more than 30,000 pieces from the full geographic and chronological range of the Islamic world, from Spain to China, from the 1st-13th centuries AH/7th-19th centuries AD/CE. The Dar features talks, music concerts, forums, workshops and programs by prominent international scholars on various topics of Islamic history, culture and art, which presents recent research to the public and promotes scholarly exchange. The Dar has sponsored archaeological excavations, organized travelling exhibitions and loaned objects, published internationally, and organized research and annual cultural expeditions. In addition, the Dar maintains two libraries, including a rare book collection, and an art school.

Her Excellency Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah co-founded the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah in 1983 with her husband, His Excellency Sheikh Nasser Sabah al Ahmed Al Sabah. As the director general of the Dar and the co-owner of the al-Sabah Collection, she has lectured on topics related to Islamic art and culture at universities and cultural institutions in the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. and has contributed to publications with a similar interest. She is actively involved in architectural preservation, working to ensure that traditional buildings in Bahrain, Syria and Egypt are protected and restored to the original design. She has also been involved in archaeological excavations in the region, both as a field worker and a patron. H.E. Sheikha Hussah is the daughter of Sabah II, the 11th Amir of the State of Kuwait and mother of six children, including Shaikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Founder, Co-owner, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Kuwait. 

Event sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of International Letters and Cultures, and the Council for Arabic and Islamic Studies. Visit our website and open the poster for more information.

Dr. Souad T. Ali
ASU Council for Arabic and Islamic Studies
Memorial Union, Room 228, Tempe campus