The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), in conjunction with His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States, has organized a special lecture program by Dr. Sheila Canby, Curator of Islamic Art and Antiquities, The British Museum, on Thursday, March 13, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at the MFAH’s Brown Auditorium.
Dr. Canby’s presentation, entitled Sufis, Shi‘ites and Shahs: The Great Shrines of Iran 1500-1650, will focus on the Ardabil Shrine, the Shrine of Imam Riza in Mashhad and the Shrine of Fatimeh Ma`sumeh in Qum.The Safavids ruled Iran from 1501 to 1722. A dynasty of Azerbaijani and Kurdish origins, the Safavids declared Shi´a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most significant turning points in the history of Islam.
Dr. Sheila Canby examines the roles that the Ardabil Shrine, the dynastic heart of the Safavid Dynasty, the Shrine of Imam Riza in Mashhad, and the Shrine of Fatimeh Ma´sumeh in Qum, played in establishing Shiism as the state religion of Iran and the Safavid rulers as its protectors.
This program is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the presentation at the museum.
For more information, please visit http://www.mfah.org
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