The Kuwaiti Ambassador, Khaled al Duwaisan, formally launched the Art of Islam festival at Aylesbury’s County Museum in front of 150 guests.
Mr al Duwaisan who is also Dean of the Diplomatic service and the longest serving of all ambassadors in London, came to the museum on Friday during a busy week, but stayed for three hours enjoying the museum’s events and refreshments.
In a light-hearted speech, the ambassador challenged guests to the difference between an ambassador and a Camel. The answer, which was met by roars of laughter, was: “A camel can work for days without a drink, whereas a diplomat can drink for days without working!”
The museum mounted traditional Muslim hot food with naan breads and a variety of meat and vegetable dishes. Guests enjoyed a performance, sponsored by the Luton-Based Al Khayaal theatre group, of a 12th century story by Spanish born Ibn Tufail that was the template for the Robinson Crusoe story and for the Enlightenment philosophers such as Hobbes and Rousseau.
Richard de Peyer, Museum Director, said: “We were really pleased with Friday’s event which seemed to go down very well with all the guests. We are very proud because this is major exhibition is helping to build links between people and is emphasising the quality and beauty of Islamic civilisation.”
Major items have been borrowed for the exhibition from the British Museum, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, the Horniman Museum in London and from a major private collection owned by renowned UK collector and philanthropist Razwan Baig.
The programme for the Festival can be downloaded from: www.buckscountymuseum.org/whats on