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An Important New Event for the Muslim World Features Numerous African Artists    

The inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale is underway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Biennales are large and prestigious international art exhibitions held every two years. And the biennale’s artistic director is Sumayya Vally, a South African architecture professor and principal of Counterspace design studio. A rising star in the art and architecture worlds, Vally was intent on creating the biennale to connect with the diverse experiences of being Muslim through ritual, practices and philosophies. It is not often that the opportunity comes along for artists to fully immerse themselves in work that is expressly Islamic, or rooted in its rituals, philosophies and practices. In highlighting the diversity of Islamic ways of being, participating African artists contribute to the many notions of what Islam is and can be.