Monday, April 20, 2015

The Light of Islam

Kinda Kamel

            Media: Arabic Lantern.
            Dimensions: Glass Jar
            References: Sami Yousef

There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, and Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion. The word Islam means "surrender," and is related to the Arabic salaam, or peace. Nowadays, people associate “Muslim Terrorist” with what they have been preconditioned to picture by various government agencies and segments of the mass media. Muslims are routinely portrayed as terrorists even though many are either totally innocent of the charge or are more innocent than many of their antagonists who aggress against them. Today, the west sees Islam as a destructive religion filled with wars, weapons and killing. Islam is portrayed by the media as a religion that promotes violence, terrorism and war. In fact, these extremists only represent 1% of the Muslim population. My message, through this art project, is that Islam is in fact a religion that promotes peace and understanding among people of all faiths, and it strongly prohibits all forms of violence and aggression against all people regardless of their faith or race.

Our art project goal is to decompose the stereotypes of Islamic views to others. In order to achieve this, I have decided to write Sami Youssef’s songs on a lantern that I made out of a jar. In all of Sami Youssef’s song, he talks about light, peace and joy; therefore, I tried to link these words with the idea of a fanous.  I picked Sami Youssef because he is a well know British singer-songwriter and composer. He always has a message in his songs about Islam, peace and love. Although he studied law in Kings College in London, he pursed a musical career and tried to portray Islam in a different perspective. His message is that Islam is not what the media or the west shows it. His songs are incredibly peaceful along with his voice. He believes that music can be a "powerful medium to promote ideas and establish dialogue within society”. He combined Eastern percussive instrumentation and Western melodies in "Al-Mu’allim" with a focus on the English and Arabic languages.

Moreover, there is a verse in Quran in surah al Noor (Chapter 24) where it says that “ Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the example of His light is like a niche in which is a lamp; the lamp is in a glass; the glass is as if it were a star shining like a pearl, kindled by the blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west – it is close that the oil itself get ablaze although the fire does not touch it; light upon light; Allah guides towards His light whomever He wills; and Allah illustrates examples for mankind; and Allah knows everything”

My name is Kinda Kamel, a fourth year student, studying finance in the American University in Dubai.  Although am a finance student, I am interest in art, books, cooking and sport. I strongly believe that one should have a solid knowledge in all fields in order to be cultured. General knowledge is a key in today’s world to approach people with different perceptions and views of life.

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