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CAIRO: 1001 Years of Islamic Art and Architecture - Fons Vitae Video
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Too often, the Islamic architecture of Cairo which embodies an unbroken tradition from the early days of Islam, is viewed merely in slide form. This video series takes the viewer into the environs and actual space and sound of this great heritage. Previewed at the annual MESA Convention in November 1999 is this wonderful scholarly overview and experience of medieval Cairo. The overview is accompanied by three sections of extensive historic and artistic detail, suitable for art history, related coursework, and academic research of individual mosques and buildings.
Part 1: The Grandeur of Cairo (16 minutes);
Part 2: The Word, the Vine, and the Star: Spiritual Dimensions of Islamic Art in Cairo (20 minutes);
Part 3: Survivors in Stone: 1001 Years of Islamic Architecture in Cairo (51 minutes);
Part 4: Some Saints of Cairo and counsels of Ibn Ata'Allah al-Iskandari (d. 1309).
Caroline Williams has graduate degrees in Middle East History (Harvard) and Islamic Art and Architecture (American University in Cairo). She wrote 'Islamic Monuments in Cairo' (AUC Press, 1993) 4th edition.
"Unlike Baghdad and Damascus, Cairo was spared the devastation of the Mongol invasions, and many of its fine medieval structures are still standing-mosques, madrasas, mausoleums, caravanserais, fortifications, aqueducts, private houses, Quranic schools. It is an unequaled treasure-house of Islamic architecture." - from Caroline Williams 'Islamic Monuments in Cairo'.
Gray Henry studied World Religions and Art History at Sarah Lawrence. Her MA was in Education/Curriculum Development. A Trustee and Co-founder of the Islamic Texts Society, she directs Fons Vitae which publishes books and videos on the spirituality of the world's great Faiths.
We are grateful to the Supreme Council of Antiquities for granting us permission to take a television crew into these monuments where Caroline enthusiastically educated the crew. Precious moments, such as daily life around the tomb and mosque of Sayyida Nafisa engaged us all.