An enticing look at the ancient past of the Arabian Peninsula, this exhibition features artworks--most of them recently excavated--that trace historic trade routes and pilgrimage roads stretching from Yemen in the south to Iraq and Mediterranean cultures in the north. Colossal human statues, Greco-Roman bronzes, gold jewelry and pages from early Qur'ans testify to a lively cultural exchange among civilizations from antiquity through the early centuries of Islam. The exhibition is on view at the Asian Art Museum, the exhibition's final U.S. venue, from October 24, 2014 to January 18, 2015. Details at http://www.asianart.org.
The hajj, one of the “five pillars” of Islam, is the pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, that all Muslims should make at least once in their lifetime if their health and financial means allow it, according to Islamic tradition. Inspired by the British Museum’s film Hajj Stories (http://tinyurl.com/britishhajj), staff at the Asian Art Museum asked Bay Area Muslims who have performed the hajj to share experiences of their journeys.