National Identity along with Religious Views

IBN BATTUTA Mall is one of the famous and well designed malls in the UAE. Located adjacent Sheikh Zayed Road . The first thing that impresses every visitor is the idea of having separated regions . The whole mall is separated into 6 main parts each assigned a name of a country, like Egypt, China, Persia, Tunisia and … Countries which have lots of residencies in the UAE. Walking through the IBN BATTUTA Mall, some statues and pieces of arts draw my attention.

 A big elephant in Indian court; probably was designed to remind visitors of India as a symbol.

Although it could not completely demonstrate rich ancient Egyptian civilization; there are some paintings on the walls and pedestals with Egyptian pictures depicted on them.

Two other statues that attract most of the visitor’s admiration are located in Persia Court. A beautifully designed corridor with lots of shops in both sides and painted walls and ceiling in Persian Islamic Style , resembling architecture style in Safaviyeh Era historical places in Isfahan.

One of them is called “The Armillary Sphere”, and is introduced as “Islamic” device mostly used for determining qibla ( local orientation to Mecca )

A picture of an old Observatory in Samarqand and another iron frame with Persian poem erasure on it, showing Iranian scientists working with planetary devices, confirms Persian role of Islamic usage of “The Armillary Sphere”.

 According to ancient hand written books found in Iran these astronomers were used to live in the north of Iran.

In other guidance notes located around the “Observational Armillary Sphere” you can see the name of Iranian scientists like Nasir Al-din Tusi and describing his planetary theorem along with Abu Reihan Biruni and his efforts to devise mathematical models to orient the qibla.

These guidance notes again confirm the brilliant role and strong knowledge of Iranian astronomers in establishment and use of these devices. Although we cannot disregard the efforts, achievements and complementary roles of Greek and Chinese astronomers in establishing “Armillary Sphere”, the main consideration here is that why it is not mentioned the name of Iran in any parts of these guidance notes but emphasizing on Islamic usage of them? There are original models in Islamic part of National museum in Iran which admits the main role of Iranian scientist, astronomers and artists has achieved this technology about 110 years prior to Arab scientists. Although, Iran is called an “Islamic” country being an “Islamic” country is not equal to being “Iranian”. When we use the term “Islamic World “it may include all the Islamic countries, whereas it is clarified that Nasir Al-din Tusi and Abu Reihan Biruni are Iranian scientists I think it would be better to bring the name of the country of their origin. To sum up I believe that “National Identity” should be respected along with Religious views.

March 29, 2011 · Maryam Khazaeli · Comments Closed
Posted in: Art and Culture, Social Life