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Shamail Exhibition Opens at Tajikistan National Museum

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Shamail Exhibition Opens at Tajikistan National Museum


On 21 October the Tajikistan National Museum hosted an opening ceremony of an exhibition entitled “Shamail in the 19th and 20th Century. Words and Images”. The exhibition was organized by the Embassy of Russia to the Republic of Tajikistan, the Rossotrudnichestvo branch in Tajikistan, the Mardjani Foundation for Support and Development of Research and Cultural Programs (Moscow, Russia) and the Tajikistan National Museum. The Russian Center at the Tajik National University was also actively involved in the event.

“The exhibition held in Tajikistan,” said Russian Ambassador Igor Lyakin-Frolov, “is a very important event aimed at fostering Russian-Tajik cooperation and strengthening cultural contacts between the sister nations of Russia and Tajikistan interrelated through ancient traditions.”
Rustam Suleimanov, President of the Mardjani Foundation for Support and Development of Research and Cultural Programs that was founded in 2006 in Moscow, made a very informative speech accompanied by a media presentation on the activities of his organization.
Following the official part of the event, Director of the Museum Abduvali Sharifzoda invited everyone to the Shamail exhibition at the fine arts hall on the 3rd floor of the building.

Shamail is an art form that emerged in the 19th century. It means “quality” and “dignity” in Arabic. In shamails, pictures and calligraphy—words and images—coexist in harmony. These unusual works of art depict philosophical maxims and drawings of mosques, plants and birds against ornamental surah backgrounds. Shamails became very popular at the end of the 19th century, but by the 1920s they all but disappeared. Today shamails are gaining popularity among Muslims again.

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