The European Discovery of Medieval Cairo
Doris Behrens-Abouseif, Emeritus Professor at the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS, presented ‘The European Discovery of Medieval Cairo’ on Thursday, 16th February, the fourth lecture of the MBI Al Jaber Lecture Series. The event was co-hosted by the MBI Al Jaber Foundation and Gingko.
Professor Behrens-Abouseif, whose research has focussed particularly on Egypt, Syria, the history of Islamic architecture and decorative arts, urbanism, waqf (pious endowments), and the concepts of aesthetics and Orientalism, illustrated her lecture with a hundred slides, which documented European interest in Cairo from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Paintings and drawings by travellers, scholars and artists depicted initiatives for the preservation of Cairo’s Islamic heritage in architecture and artefacts, and the resulting revival and historicism. Professor Behrens-Abouseif also discussed aspects of orientalist art dealing in Cairo and the reception of orientalist art in Egypt.
The MBI Al Jaber seminar room was filled to capacity for the presentation. In attendance was MBI Al Jaber Foundation alumnus, Mohamed Yehia, the Deputy Director of the Egyptian Tourist Authority for the UK, Ireland and the Nordic Countries. He very much enjoyed the lecture and thanked Doris Behrens-Abouseif personally, as soon as she had finished taking questions.
The fifth presentation of the series will be held on Thursday 23rd March at 17.45. Nawal Al-Maghafi will be screening her latest films, including #Starving Yemen. This will be followed by a Q & A session with the film producer herself.
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