Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction
Wilfred Thesiger Charles Butt Edward Grazda

Wilfred ThesigerCharles ButtEdward Grazda
Society and Religion 1945–2006


Introduction A Place One Has Never Been by Raina Sacks Blankenhorn

Foreword A History in Pictures by Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Salimi

1st Edition
Pages: 117
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781931764292
Hardcover: $65.0
Softcover: $40.00

Broadway Publications
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New York, NY 10023
©2012 by Broadway Publications
and Ministry of Awqaf and Religious
Afairs of the Sultanate of Oman.
All rights reserved.

he artistic work presented here comes from three distinguished photographic collections: the Wilfred Thesiger Collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Charles Butt Collection at the Middle East Centre Archive of St. Antony's College, both at Oxford University, and the Edward Grazda Collection, at the Institute for American Values and at the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, in Muscat. Creating this book was an ambitious effort that brought together important British, American, and Omani institutions across continents, time zones, and cultures. Three Views of Oman: Society and Religion 1945-2006 celebrates not only the work of these outstanding photographers but also the partnership between the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Middle East Centre, and the Institute for American Values that brought it to fruition.

A History in Pictures by Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Salimi

his volume covers the past sixty-five years of our nation's history, from the end of the Second World War through the first decade of the twenty-first century. The photographs deal with subjects that are both sensitive and significant in Omani and Arabian society, namely, those variable and invariable elements of society that are inspired by faith and cultural values.

A Place One Has Never Been by Raina Sacks Blankenhorn

ow does one understand a place one has never been? Or a person embedded in a history so thoroughly separate from one's own? The answer begins by listening to the other, recognizing what is universal and human, and ultimately, allowing for the possibility that there are some mysteries one does not understand. Looking at photographs-to see what is there and to ask what is not there-is a distinct way to experience the paradox of knowing and not knowing the other. The act itself is a step toward the engagement of one culture with another. Ours is a time of critical engagement between Western and Islamic cultures. Extremists on all sides have attempted to destroy what we have in common, to make monsters out of the other. Photographs can help counteract such characterizations by presenting an opportunity to take the time—lots of it—to look at images of the other in a subtle and reflective way. Then, when we take the time to look, all the disciplines slowly come into play: art history, architecture, history, anthropology, economics, technology, psychology—to name just some of the fields of knowledge we rely on to help us understand what we see when we look at a photograph.

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