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MOHAMED ABD EL-SALAM is deputy director of the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, where he is curator of the textiles and carpets department. He holds a master`s degree on the subject of Indian Mughal carpets and has a doctorate in Islamic Chinese arts and Chinese influences in Japanese and Korean Art between the 16th-19th centuries. He trained in museology at the British Museum in London and also at the Louvre in Paris, and received scholarships for study in Germany and the UK. He also teaches Islamic arts and museology through Arabic, English and Persian.
Row carpets in Mosques: A Study in Design Philosophy and Function
This research presents a new creative vision, which aims in its research content at a deeper understanding and accurate analysis of the philosophy of making, decorating and designing row prayer rugs within mosques and finds the reasons behind their popularity during 1600-1900. Moreover, it will present a comparative study between the row carpets and their relationship to the rest of the architectural elements and decorative patterns in the mosque, as well as the ornamentation and its connection. It will also survey the artistic aspect that it constitutes for the mosque, as well as reflecting the collective awareness of the Islamic community. We will also present an analysis of the decorations and colors of the rows of carpets in mosques, show their symbolism and philosophy in composition and innovation, and measure the extent to which the carpets observe harmonious anatomical proportions when weaving. He will try to represent the elements and furniture of the mosque, such as the mihrab and the niche in their decoration. The study will also highlight that row carpets are considered masterpieces of applied art that combines beauty and artistic creativity while meeting the functional purpose, with their symbolic faith and natural innate beauty.