God is beautiful and He loves beauty

Dec. 15, 2003

Dear Colleague:

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities will meet with the press this coming Monday, December 22nd at 6pm at the Marriott Room (room 109) of the American University in Cairo at the Sheikh Rihan campus. Dr. Hawass will brief the press on the opening one hour later at 7pm at AUC of the joint exhibition entitled "Creswell's Cairo: Then and Now." His Excellency Sir Derick Plumbly, British Ambassador to Egypt, will join Dr. Hawass at the press conference and in inaugurating the exhibition.

His Excellency The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Dr. Ali Jum'a, and AUC's President David Arnold will attend the inaugural ceremonies and the reception that follows.

At the 6pm press conference Dr. Hawass and Sir Derick will be joined by Mr. Philip Croom director of the Rare Books and Special Collections Library and Ms. Nuha Abu Khatwa, director of the Islamic Art Network(IAN). They will describe the importance of the work of Sir Archibald Creswell who devoted most of his life to documenting Cairo's Islamic architectural heritage, and left his extensive collection of over 11,000 photographs and a major body of texts to the American University in Cairo where he taught for a number of decades. Sir Archibald Creswell is considered the father of the discipline of the History of Islamic Art and Architecture and his Collection has been of great utility to the scholars of Islamic Architecture for several decades now. The Islamic Art Network photographers Mr. Chemane Arias and Ms. Jenny Marquez will also be present.

The black and white photographs, which date back at least 50 or more years, in the Joint Exhibition are taken from the Creswell Collection at the Rare Books Library; and they are matched by color photographs from the identical perspective taken this past year by a photographic team from the Islamic Art Network, www.islamic-art.org , which is devoted to serving, among other things, as a comprehensive reference for all students, scholars and journalists in the field of Islamic art and architecture, and is a project of the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation.

There will be refreshments served at the 6pm press conference. Following the inaugural ceremonies at the Sony Gallery at 7pm the VIP audience invited to the opening along with the press corps will move either by foot or by bus to the Rare Books Library at Sheikh Rihan and Mansour Streets, a five minute walk from AUCs main campus. The second half of the exhibit will be inaugurated followed by a reception for all the guests and the press in the Rare Books Library garden.

Dr. Hawass and I look forward to seeing you at the 6pm press conference and at the events that will immediately follow. (An invitation to those events is enclosed; please bring it with you for security clearance.)


S. Abdallah Schleifer
Director, The Adham Center and the Sony Gallery for Photography