In less than a month, visitors will be able to view a part of the world’s largest Holy Quran at the Expo 2020 Dubai, courtesy Pakistani artist and former UAE resident Shahid Rassam.
In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times on Saturday, the celebrity international artist said the six-month-long mega event is the ideal place to showcase the first-of-its-kind project which is being cast on high-quality canvas with aluminium and gold-plated words for the first time in Islamic history.
“The UAE is an incredible place to live, work and build the future,” he said. “It shows the world how people with different faiths, religions, and dialects can reside together peacefully and contribute their share to the country’s progress.”
Rassam, who spent 11 years in the UAE and has garnered international acclaim, called the UAE a second home – one that is very close to his heart.
“I spent the best part of my life in the UAE and appreciate its visionary leadership for developing the country into a modern and progressive nation. I was honoured to portray some of the royal family members as well, including His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” he said.
The Dubai Ruler’s portrait is still a part of Dubai Museum, said Rassam – something he considers a “great honour and matter of pride”.
“I have created a portrait of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group. I also did the artwork for members of the Abu Dhabi royal family during my time in the UAE,” said Rassam, who is now principal of the Arts Council Institute of Arts and Crafts in Karachi.