Special Event: Islamic Architecture: Past and Present

Thursday, February 2, 2023 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

UCF's Al-Ghazali Islamic Studies Program housed in the Department of Philosophy presents two special talks on past and present Islamic architecture.

Join us for this in-person lecture discussing:

“The Great Mosque of Samarra and Abbasid Imperial Architecture”

Dr. Matt Saba is Librarian for Islamic Architecture and Interim Program Head of the Aga Khan Documentation Center (AKDC) at MIT Libraries. At AKDC, Dr. Saba provides access to archival collections related to the study of the built environment in Muslim societies. Before joining MIT Libraries in 2017, Dr. Saba worked as a curatorial fellow in the Islamic Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and taught courses at Columbia University and Marymount Manhattan College. His interests include early Islamic palace architecture and the relationships between visual and intellectual culture in late antiquity and early Islam.

Dr. Saba’s talk will explore the monuments of one of Islam’s most famous dynasties: the Abbasid Caliphs of Iraq (r. 750-1258). The Great Mosque of Samarra will serve as an example of some of the features that distinguish Abbasid architecture, shedding light on the political and intellectual preoccupations of the Abbasid caliphs and the challenges of monument building in this epoch.

“Reflections on the Construction of Orlando’s Largest Mosque”

Imam Tariq Rasheed is director and imam of the Islamic Center of Orlando, where he has served since 1993. The author of a number of books, Imam Tariq spends much of his time counseling his community and lecturing on Quranic exegesis, classical Arabic, and Muslim ethics. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Imam Tariq will discuss the process of funding and constructing the new Islamic Center of Orlando. He will focus on the functional and spiritual significance of the mosque's features and its role in the Orlando community. 

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