Islamic Art Festival to Feature Refugees’ Work

Calligraphy, patterns, landscapes, ceramics and other artwork will be featured at festival which will be hosted on Nov. 10 and 11.

 HOUSTON – Hosted by the Islamic Arts Society, the 5th annual Islamic Arts Festival will feature work from 45 artists at the Masjid Al-Salam in Houston, Texas, including refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, and other countries, Chron reported on October 30.

“This year, we’re trying to feature the art of some refugees. Some of the artwork I believe is coming from overseas, but the majority of it’s local,” said Shaheen Rahman, director of outreach for the Islamic Arts Society.

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“They have some wonderful talent and we just wanted to showcase their art at the festival.”

The Islamic Arts Festival will feature calligraphy, patterns, landscapes, ceramics, and other artworks. It will also feature live demonstrations of paper marbling and henna. Visitors can also get a tour of the mosque, meet artists and purchase meals from food trucks.

The Islamic Arts Society works to share the rich heritage of arts in Islam. The society organizes events to celebrate our culture and promote the positive image of our community among Muslims and non-Muslims.

By promoting Islamic arts, the organization hopes to promote mutual understanding and to bring the broader American community together.

“Attendance has increased since the festival was first hosted in 2012, with about 5,000 visitors attending in 2017. A new location may be selected in the future to accommodate more visitors,” Rahman said.

“Our main goal is to reach out to the broader Houston community. It’s educational as well as to build bridges. We try to do that through art. Art is a common language. It helps us facilitate dialogue. Islam has a rich history of art that we just don’t hear about in the media,” she explained.

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, Muslims represent about 1.2% of Houston’s population. As of 2012 it has the largest Muslim population in Texas and the largest Muslim population in the Southern USA.

In 2000, the estimated population of Muslims in Houston was over 60,000 and there were over 41 mosques and storefront religious centers, with the largest being the Al-Noor Mosque of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH).

Since 1990, the ISGH served as the main mosque in Houston where it had multiple branches.