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  • 11/19/2006

About the Tareq Rajab Museum

The Museum is the private collection of the Rajab family.

The collection was started in the early 50's and wasopened to the general public in 1980.

Overview of the Museum

The Museum is divided into two main sections of Islamic Art:


This Section deals with calligraphy, pottery, metalwork, glass, wood, ivory and jade carvings of the Islamic world. Early calligraphy is presented in a separate small room, showing pages from the Holy Qur'an, dating back to the first three centuries of the Islamic period. It also contains an early dated Qur'an written on parchment, dating to 393AH/AD1002. Later examples display calligraphic panels, inscriptions which were cut, or in brail script.

A collection of Holy Qur'ans from small to large .

A treatise of the 9th century scholar al-kindi on optics .

A page fragment from the timurid Prince Baysunqur's Qur'an.


The pottery section presents the full history of this art form, starting from pre-Islamic time up to the 19th century. So far the only known dated piece of this type of pottery. It is decorated with a beautiful written kuffic inscription, giving a quotation from the Holy Qur'an which is so far the earliest known ceramic object with a Quranic inscription.

Metal Work

The large selection of metalwork on display includes objects from the Umayyad period onward. Among them a 7th - 8th century AD bronze ewer, and an early incense burner. Seljuq, Ghaznavid and Ghurid period metalwork is well represented by ewers, flasks, oil-lamps and incense-burners. Of the later periods several bowls, ewers and trays are shown.

Glass Work

Islamic glasses of the early periods are demonstrated by a number of vessels, including perfume flasks, medicine bottles and beakers. Some of these have cut, others applique or trailed decoration. The ivory carvings include an indian musical instrument, a so-called "Sarinda", pen-boxes and another musical instrument from ottoman Turkey, a Kemence.


The exhibited jades are all from Mughal India and date from the 17th and 18th centuries, including an extremely rare red and white jade as well.

Arms and Armor

The arms and armor is shown in several display cabinets and one room is specially dedicated to the swords and daggers of the Near and Middle East. There is also a special and extremely rare object, a ceremonial shield, carved out of buffalo hide, made at Ahmadabad in India during the 16th century.

Lacquer work

Islamic lacquer work is presented in a special cabinet and it includes a 14h Mamluk box, a late 14th or early 15th century Qur'an stand, or Rahla, a signed and dated Kashmir mirror-case and many Qajar pen-boxes and mirror-cases.


This part of the Museum deals with the costumes, textiles, embroideries and jewellery of the Islamic world, but also includes relevant objects from Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

The objects are exhibited in the following order:

The gulf countries: Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the Yemen.

The exhibited objects include jewellery, costumes and textiles of these countries. This is followed by a detailed display of folk jewellery of other near and Middle Eastern countries and also of India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.

The collection is particularly rich in Syrian and Palestinian costumes, while its folk jewellery is perhaps one of the richest and largest in the world.

In both sections of the museum there are large numbers of swords, daggers, some old Islamic fire-arms and gun-powder holders.

Likewise, an outstanding collection of musical instruments from almost every part of the Oriental world are exhibited.

There is a special collection of jewellery, which once, so it is claimed, belonged to the last Emir of Bukhara.

Museum Interior Gallery




Original Source: http://www.trmkt.com/

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