Historically, architecture was one of the most powerful expressions of our cultures. And yet 35 years ago, in my view, we had disappeared from the world’s architecture. Our buildings had become books on coffee tables. Our schools of architecture had no architects trained in Islamic architecture. Our historic buildings were not being maintained. Historic cities were allowed to disappear, out of ignorance, or lack of interest.

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For a number of years, this Museum has represented a focus of interest, of learning of knowledge about Islamic history and the humanities of Islam in this area of the world….

[The Aga Khan remarked that the Ummah is not seen by others] in the light in which Muslims see it…. It is our responsibility … to think and correct the messages which are being sent around the world about our history and about our culture….

Historically, architecture was one of the most powerful expressions of our cultures. And yet 35 years ago, in my view, we had disappeared from the world’s architecture. Our buildings had become books on coffee tables. Our schools of architecture had no architects trained in Islamic architecture. Our historic buildings were not being maintained. Historic cities were allowed to disappear, out of ignorance, or lack of interest….

We have to illustrate the fact that our world is a very diverse world, but it is a very beautiful world in its diversity. It goes from high mountains to deserts. It crosses oceans. It covers populations with different backgrounds, different histories, and yet it is one brotherhood.

It seems to me therefore, that it is important that we illustrate this beauty in a way which the global community can understand. Today, hamdulillah, we see more and more museums coming up in the Islamic world illustrating the diversity, the history, the great traditions of our world and we are re-entering the knowledge of global humanities, from which we have been absent for too long.

So I wanted to thank you for inviting me and to tell you my admiration and gratitude, as one Muslim amongst others, for the wonderful work you are doing.

Thank you.

His Highness the Aga Khan IV

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