The Reaya El-Nimr and Abdel-Ghani Abul-Enein Collection: Arab Folk Art
This exhibition displays the Reaya El-Nimr ethnic jewelry and costume collection alongside the folk-inspired paintings of her husband, the artist and designer Abdel-Ghani Abul-Enein.
Abul Enein and his wife spent their lives collecting folk art and trying to document the ethnic culture of Egyptian villages and oases, which was part of their work as the first costume designers for the National Group for Folk Arts.
El-Nemr traveled all across Egypt to gather this unique collection of jewelry, costumes, ornaments, wood and metal works and fabrics. Her rich and diverse collection is not confined to Egyptian culture only, but also includes items that she selected during her travels to Yemen and the Far East.
In addition, the family of the late couple has kindly donated to the BA their personal library, which comprises around four thousand books.
Arab-Muslim Medieval Instruments of Astronomy and Science (Star Riders)
One of the BA unique exhibitions, the Arab-Muslim Medieval Instruments of Astronomy and Science Exhibition highlights the priceless contributions of the Arabs to science in general, and astronomy in particular. It comprises numerous replicas of original sundials, astrolabes, compasses, sand and water clocks, in addition to globes with chiseled presentations of celestial constellations.
The Star Riders exhibition is carefully designed to present a portion of the contribution of medieval Arab scientists who were often, at the same time, skilled craftsmen.
The idea of reviving the contribution of the Arab Civilization to Science was originally initiated by professor Fuat Sezgin, Director of the Institute for the History of the Arab-Islamic Sciences, Frankfurt, who made the first attempt in researching, documenting and reproducing old Arab civilization instruments, through studying the old manuscripts and reconstructing the instruments from the information available.
The exhibition contains the old machines of the Bulaq Press, the first Egyptian press. Visitors can see, on display, a great number of the old printing presses and their accessories, such as character assembly machines, in addition to samples of printed material.
The Bulaq Press was established under the rule of Mohamed Ali in 1820, while the assembling of the machines began in 1821. The first publication by the Press was an Arabic-Italian dictionary issued in 1822. The significance of the Bulaq Press extends far beyond the mere machine: it was the beacon that guided Egypt out of the dark ages by providing a much needed source of knowledge in the form of printed books.
At the other end of the exhibition, we have the Print-on-Demand revolutionary new technology that will change the world of book publishing, the Espresso Book Machine, where the content of any book can be directly printed from any digital medium to paper without the need for conventional films or plates.