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Mohamed Bhanji

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I serve as a volunteer Educator at the Aga Khan Museum. The Museum reflects the Founder’s and his family’s ongoing commitment to pluralism and to the promotion of understanding between civilizations, religions, and races. MISSION: Through the arts, the Aga Khan Museum sparks wonder, curiosity, and understanding of Muslim cultures and their connection with other cultures. VISION: To impact lives and contribute to more inclusive and peaceful societies. As a tour guide for the architecture of the Museum building, the collection of the masterpieces of Islamic Art, and special exhibitions, I strive to have enlightened encounters with our visitors, on: 1) Islamic Architecture: His Highness the Aga Khan invited the renowned Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and outlined his vision: “For the Aga Khan Museum, I thought that ‘Light’ might be a concept around which you could design an outstanding Museum.” In the Architecture tour, we discover how Maki has responded to that vision statement to design a modern building while adapting age-old architectural traditions in a contemporary Canadian idiom. The Museum building itself is recognized as an important work of art, of architecture. 2) Islamic Gardens and Parks What is an Islamic garden in the 21st century? The Aga Khan has posed this question to landscape architects for his projects. We discover how Vladimir Djurovic answers this question in his stunningly modern design for the Aga Khan Park in Toronto. 3) Masterpieces of Islamic Art: In this tour of our Permanent Collection, we take our visitors on a journey across cultures and time weaving through the history of Islamic civilizations which span geographies from the Iberian Peninsula to China in the search for knowledge and beauty. To make this tour more engaging, we set the objects free from their curatorial context so that they become catalysts for discussions, enabling connections from the historic to the contemporary, and amenable to interpretation in innovative and unexpected ways. We share stories about objects covering over a thousand years of history, drawn from geographies spanning Spain in the West to China in the East, and created from every kind of material existing in the Islamic World, to foster a better understanding of the artistic, intellectual, and scientific contributions made by Muslim civilizations to world heritage. I also engage with the LinkedIn community to amplify the voice of the Aga Khan Development Network #AKDN whose fundamental objective is to improve the quality of human life.

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