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Portuguese youth commemorate the Golden Jubilee through art
Zohora Pirbhai
9 July 2008
  • Portuguese Ismaili youth learn to express themselves through painting in the <em>Dar-at-Ta'lim</em> art project. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal
    Portuguese Ismaili youth learn to express themselves through painting in the Dar-at-Ta'lim art project. Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal

    As part of the Dar-at-Ta'lim religious education programme, Portuguese children, youth, and their teachers have been busy creating special pieces of art to celebrate the upcoming Golden Jubilee visit to Lisbon.

    One of the core objectives of the visual art project has been to encourage young people in Portugal – as well as their teachers, parents, and other family members – to depict their love for Mawlana Hazar Imam through artistic expression, a long-standing tradition in Ismaili history.

    Another objective of the project is to encourage young people to use art and creative expression as a vehicle for the communication of emotion. The project allows students to awaken their creativity and explore their talents and interests.

    A girl composes her painting on canvas. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal
    A girl composes her painting on canvas. Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal

    During the first stage of the project, students from across Portugal explored the work of Muslim artists, past and present. Many participants were inspired by the work of artists such as the late Ismail Gulgee.

    The Dar-at-Ta'lim art project was also designed to help various members of the Jamat come together and work hand-in-hand to commemorate Hazar Imam's Golden Jubilee visit. Children and youth collaborated with their families, teachers, and various artists in the Jamat to craft their personal art pieces.

    In addition to paintings on canvas, the young people have also created a tapestry: a collaborative map depicting the presence of Ismaili Muslims across the world, both today and throughout history.

    Portuguese youth participate in a special Dar-at-Ta'lim art project commemorating the Golden Jubilee visit of Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo: Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal
    Portuguese youth participate in a special Dar-at-Ta'lim art project commemorating the Golden Jubilee visit of Mawlana Hazar Imam. Courtesy of the Ismaili Council for Portugal

    The art project has proven to be a tremendous success. Not only has it helped bring various members of the Jamat together in a celebration of the upcoming Golden Jubilee visit festivities, but it has also given young people across Portugal an opportunity to explore creative expressions of their love for Mawlana Hazar Imam.

    Adam Sadrudine, a 16-year-old from Portugal who participated in the project, was happy to be part of an initiative that brought so many people together. “This was a good experience that helped us recall some of the things we had learned throughout the year through the Dar-at-Ta'lim programme,” he said. “In addition, it was an excellent exercise in helping us truly express how we feel about our faith and our Imam.”

    A piece of art created by a young person in Portugal as part of the Dar-at-Ta'lim art project. Photo: Courtesy ITREB Portugal
    A piece of art created by a young person in Portugal as part of the Dar-at-Ta'lim art project. Courtesy ITREB Portugal

    Sadrudine's thoughts echo those of many others across Portugal when describing his excitement for the upcoming visit.

    “I was immensely happy to have had the opportunity to work on a project where we were invited to show our love for and sincere gratitude to Mawlana Hazar Imam for all he has been doing over the past fifty years.”