A visual treasure- Peter Sanders on Everyday Lives of Muslims in China

A visual treasure- Peter Sanders on Everyday Lives of Muslims in China

I saw Peter at the exhibit of “Heaven, Earth & The 10,000 Things, Moments in the lives of Muslims of China”. Now those photographs were something else for me, because as the name of this blog suggests, I am very much a traveler and explorer at heart. My understanding of the world is deepened the most through personally turning the pages of experience. There is nothing that can replace being totally immersed in the sounds, sights and tastes of a culture, that of my own, one as well as those of the big wide world. Experience gives me a visceral understanding of reality and what the true constants if one intends to live a life of purpose and joy.

The entrance to the lecture hall
The entrance to the lecture hall
And it's all about to begin
And it's all about to begin

At the Exhibit, Peter gave us an enchanting glimpse in to how something as distinctive as Chinese culture and the Islamic faith interplay to create the most amazing mosques, doorways and even graves over time. It has awakened a longing within me to visit China with a guide to explore what Islam and Muslims are like in China. At that exhibit, I met brother Yusuf who may just well be that guide. I approached him and asked for his help in regards to getting the Chinese crystal glasses that are known for their healing qualities. They are usually hundreds of years old and come with their individual histories. He untiringly helped to locate just the right glasses for me and has so graciously accepted to help me plan an itinerary once the time is right. In sha Allah very soon!

 A moment of deep thought
A moment of deep thought
An engaging speaker
An engaging speaker
The fabulous chinese crystal healing glasses
The fabulous chinese crystal healing glasses

I also witnessed Peter in action, as the saying goes, at a talk that he gave at the Heritage house in the historical area of Dubai. He spoke of his book “In the Shade of the Tree” which has a collection of his favorite works across his long and rich career as a photographer. I loved listening to story after story told with obvious joy in the process and the intention to honor beauty by capturing and sharing it. His stories were a crafted blend of the subject of the photograph and the technical aspects, yet what makes it unique and completes it for me is how Peter brings in with such grace his sense of love for God and His creation and a deep gratitude for the Divine gift of beauty to adorn functionality of every day living. I could have listened to him for hours, speaking of his craft and sharing his gems.

One of the purest joys for me is encountering men and women who are of the same generation as my parents who carry the signs of a life well lived and who choose a path of wisdom and gratitude. At the intersection of their wisdom and gratitude, their hearts expand and overflow with a quiet joy and a steadfast kindness that is both reassures and beckons to the beautiful light of certainty and surrender to God and His Will. This post is as much about Peter and Hafsa, his wife, as it is about the incredible visual treasure of the exhibit on China. It’s their work as a wonderful husband and wife team , photographer and supportive companion and champion that brings us the exquisite heartfelt photos that Peter takes so beautifully.

Right from the start when I met them both I thought to myself what a lovely pair! Peter is a soul about beauty, peace and precision. He told us he waits for as long as it takes, still and watching to get the perfect shot. He is always wearing shades of white and off white which just drives home the sense of ethereal energy of our souls versus our bodies and minds. The smile rarely leaves his face in conversation, reaffirming his welcome and acceptance, well except when he is totally immersed in perfecting his craft. As I spoke with Hafsa and spent time with her, I realized that I met a woman who I would love to emulate and learn from and I don’t say that easily. I believe everyone has something to teach me about being the best version of myself but with Hafsa it supersedes that into a transformative role model of how to be present with care and kindness keeping the delicate balance of healthy boundaries and deep connection. Her approach brings out the best outcome in just about any situation I have seen her in, ma sha Allah! What a double gift the exhibit  proved to be, showcasing the enlightening grace of both the art and the artist.

And here is the beautiful Hafsa
And here is the beautiful Hafsa
A hadith I grew up knowing by heart
A hadith I grew up knowing by heart
And a beautiful quote to live by
And a beautiful quote to live by
Peter's generosity goes on
Peter's generosity goes on
With Book recommendations
With Book recommendations
 I can not wait!
I can not wait!

Up Next:

Heaven, Earth & The 10,000 Things, Moments In The Lives of Muslims of China, Peter Sanders

DISCOVER Peter Sanders

BBT | Majd Kurdieh | Grey Box | Peter Sanders

Peter Sanders is an internationally acclaimed photographer renowned for his documentation of the Islamic World. For forty years he has traveled extensively and has amassed a huge archive of over a quarter of a million photographs documenting a traditional Islam that is fast disappearing.

A visitor to one of his most recent exhibitions said: 'I was touched deeply not only by the photos but by the photographer himself. He gave me an opportunity to reflect on my existence on earth and see the beauty of Islam.'

READ In The Shade of The Tree

In the shade of the tree logo

In The Shade of the Tree is a unique photographic record of a world few outsiders gain access to and fewer still understand in any depth. Peter Sanders has devoted 35 years to capturing aspects of the Islamic world all too often ignored in an age of constant change and upheaval.

VISIT The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

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The first Sharjah Islamic Museum opened its doors in the Heritage Area in 1996. Its extensive collections were moved to the impressive building of the traditional Souq Al Majarrah to be reinterpreted and redisplayed. The new Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization was opened on June 6, 2008.

ENJOY Heritage House

Heritage-House-Dubai-logo

Located in one of the oldest urban sites in Dubai, the Heritage House was established by Mr. Matar Saeed bin Mazina in 1890, to provide a comprehensive description of the nature of local traditional housing with its content, values and the approaches created by man to tackle the everyday life, in addition to dealing with the conditions of the desert environment with its hot and dusty weather, all to obtain physical and moral comfort. The house consists of two floors and it was built of coral, stone, plaster, teakwood, chantal wood, and the fronds and trunks of palm trees.

Located in one of the oldest urban sites in Dubai, the Heritage House was established by Mr. Matar Saeed bin Mazina in 1890, to provide a comprehensive description of the nature of local traditional housing with its content, values and the approaches created by man to tackle the everyday life, in addition to dealing with the conditions of the desert environment with its hot and dusty weather, all to obtain physical and moral comfort. The house consists of two floors and it was built of coral, stone, plaster, teakwood, chantal wood, and the fronds and trunks of palm trees.

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