How it all began
As fate would have it, the journey of the exhibition itself would begin in Istanbul – at the UN Alliance of Civilizations in 2009.
Perhaps this was a fitting place, the vision of the Alliance of Civilizations has a deep resonance with the themes of the exhibition – building bridges among a diversity of cultures and communities, improving understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions.
Raheel was on the panel at the launch of CISCO’s Dialogue Café – a project using video conferencing technology to link diverse groups of citizens around the world and create new spaces for nurturing innovation across the global community. As Raheel spoke about his experiences with Maslaha and its links with the ideology behind the Dialogue café, he caught the ear of one particular member of the audience – Mike Hardy, Strategic Leader for Intercultural Dialogue at the British Council.
Mike was excited about Maslaha and introduced Raheel to Martin Rose – director of the British Council’s Our Shared Europe programme. The folks at Our Shared Europe loved Maslaha’s Untold Islam section, especially the vivid timelines charting the journey and exchange of ideas through history and across cultures.
Back to Maslaha HQ in Bethnal Green, East London. Team Maslaha is sitting down with Effusion, our web designers, plotting and brainstorming. How to build the most interesting virtual exhibition possible? Richard’s eyes lit up. “I’ve got a great idea. Why not build the physical version of the exhibition, digitally capture that, and turn it into a website using cutting edge new technology?” The team stared at each other. We had just quadrupled our work but we were never ones to resist an adventure…