Dubai: The University of Birmingham will display the Birmingham Quran exhibition, a replica of one of the oldest manuscripts of the Quran, in Dubai for the first time at Dubai Design District (d3) from April 19 to May 3.
The manuscript, part of the university’s Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts, consists of two leaves containing parts of suras (chapters) 18 to 20 and dates back to the seventh century.
The exhibition was held last year at Sharjah International Book Fair, during which His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, viewed the exhibition.
Some 25,000 people in total visited the exhibition during the book fair (SIBF) in November and at Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi, where they were able to observe the manuscript in digital form besides viewing a detailed replica.
Professor Sir David Eastwood, the university’s vice-chancellor, said: “The Birmingham Quran manuscript is of huge significance to Muslim heritage and the academic study of Islam. We are immensely proud to host such a treasure at the University of Birmingham. Following the success of this interactive digital exhibition in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, where it was visited by [Shaikh Mohammad] and thousands of people, we are honoured to bring the exhibition to Dubai.”
The university, which recently inaugurated its Dubai campus, has worked closely with the British Council, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development as strategic partner, and d3 as the host venue, to bring the exhibition to the UAE.
The exhibition will feature a range of Birmingham Quran-related education activities for young people, including exhibition tours, activity sheets and free calligraphy workshops for local schools designed and delivered by the Dubai-based Gallery Arabesque.
It will also be possible for people to get an understanding of the story behind the manuscript, thanks to an innovative and free online course developed by the team looking after the manuscript at the university’s Cadbury Research Library.