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Article

Andrew Weiner

(b Beirut, 1925).

Lebanese painter and writer active in the USA. Daughter of a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father, Adnan was educated in Lebanon before going on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley. For many years she taught aesthetics at Dominican College, San Rafael, CA; she also lectured and taught at many other colleges and universities. During the 1970s Adnan regularly contributed editorials, essays, and cultural criticism to the Beirut-based publications Al-Safa and L’Orient-Le Jour. In 1978 she published the novel Sitt Marie Rose, which won considerable acclaim for its critical portrayal of cultural and social politics during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War. Adnan published numerous books of poetry, originating in her opposition to the American war in Vietnam and proceeding to encompass topics as diverse as the landscape of Northern California and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Her poetry served as the basis for numerous works of theater and contemporary classical music....

Article

Kilim  

[Arab. kilim, klim; Pers. gilim; Turk. kilim]

Flat-woven covering or hanging, usually a weft-faced tapestry-woven rug, produced in the Islamic lands of western Central Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans and North Africa. These non-pile fabrics are often divided into groups known by such terms as jijim (cicim, djidjim, jimjim), zilu (sileh, silé, zilé, sille) and verneh (verné), but these terms may represent various techniques or combinations including tapestry, compound-weaving, brocading and embroidery, or may have limited geographical currency. The divergence between terminology (whether in European or local languages) of the deduced techniques of manufacture (e.g. ‘sumak brocading’) and the observed description of structure (e.g. weft wrapping) has led to widespread confusion in nomenclature. Scholars and dealers have also divided these pieces into such regional groups as Turkish, Caucasian and Persian, and these have been further subdivided by locality or tribe.

Flat-woven fabrics were used for animal trappings (including saddle-bags and covers), sacks, floor coverings, furnishings (including tent fittings, door covers, blankets, and covers for bolsters, pillows and hearth cushions), as well as belts, shawls and funeral shrouds. Most were produced in nomadic or village settings on horizontal or vertical looms. The fabrics range from 2 to 5 m in length and from 1 to 2 m in width. Some are composed of two narrow strips woven in mirror image and sewn together lengthwise. In comparison to pile carpets, which have long been appreciated in the West (...

Article

Esin Atil

[Mehmed-i Siyah; Kara Mehmed Çelebi]

(fl 1545–66).

Ottoman illuminator. The greatest student of Şahkulu, Kara Memi developed a new naturalistic style that quickly spread to other court arts including textiles, rugs, ceramics and tiles and survived for many centuries. He is one of the few artists employed in the imperial Ottoman painting studio under Süleyman (reg 1520–66) whose name is recorded in archival documents and extant works. First mentioned on a payroll register dated 1545, Kara Memi rose quickly so that by the early 1550s his wages for Koran illumination were the highest given to any artist working on manuscripts commissioned by the Süleymaniye Mosque; by 1557–8 he was head painter (Ott. nakkaşbaşı). A librarian’s note on the flyleaf of a Koran manuscript transcribed by ‛Abdallah Sayrafi in 1344–5 and refurbished for the Ottoman grand vizier Rüstem Pasha in the mid-1550s (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., E.H. 49) credits Kara Memi with the illumination, and he signed the illumination in a spectacular manuscript of the ...

Article

[Sa‛id, ‛Isam Sabaḥ al-]

(b Baghdad, Sept 7, 1938; d London, Dec 26, 1988).

Iraqi architect, painter and designer. The grandson of the Iraqi prime minister Nuri el-Said (d 1958), he studied architecture in England at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1958–61), and attended Hammersmith College of Art and Design, London (1962–4). From the early 1960s he incorporated sentences and words in kufic and other scripts into his paintings. He designed the interior of the Central Mosque and the Islamic Cultural Centre in London (1976–7), and he was consultant to PPA Ltd of Canada for the Abdul Aziz University master plan in Jiddah (1977–8) and to TYPSA Ltd of Spain for the Imam Saud Islamic University master plan in Riyadh (1978–9). In Baghdad he designed the Aloussi Mosque (1982–8) and al-Aboud Mosque (1984). In addition to his paintings in oil and watercolour he worked with such materials as paleocrystal (a transparent material made of polyester resin) and enamel on aluminium. His ...

Article

Tent  

P. A. Andrews and Mark Dike DeLancey

Portable structure with a fabric covering sustained by or interacting with rigid supports. Because of their mobility, tents have been essential in providing shelter for the nomads of the Middle East and Central Asia, and have been attested since the earliest written and pictorial records. The same constructional principles have been adapted for court and army life by the rulers of these and neighbouring regions, including medieval Europe and India. At times they were realized with a magnificence and sense of display hard to imagine today. Cloth also came to be used for tipis (teepees) after the destruction of the American buffalo herds deprived the Plains Indians of the traditional material used for covering (see ). This article deals with tents in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa: for information on Indian tents see Indian subcontinent §VIII 17.; for information on European tents and tension structures, particularly in the medieval period and in the 20th century, ...

Article

Tiraz  

Sheila S. Blair

[Arab. ṭirāz]

Inscription band in Islamic textiles, or fabric with an inscription band added in a technique different from the ground weave. Derived from the Persian word for embroidery, the term originally designated any embroidered ornament. In the early Islamic period textiles were often decorated with inscriptions containing good wishes and the caliph’s name and titles, and these fabrics were made up into robes of honour worn by the caliph or bestowed by him as official gifts. Hence the word came to refer to inscription bands done in embroidery or any other technique and the fabrics or garments on which they were found. Tiraz also referred to the workshops in which these fabrics were made, a synecdoche for dār al-ṭirāz (‘factory for tiraz’). In later times the word tiraz was also used to refer to the long bands inscribed with the ruler’s name and titles that were written across the façades of major buildings, as at the ...

Article

Monique Riccardi-Cubitt

French term used to describe artefacts made in Turkey, or in France by Turkish craftsmen, and by derivation the influence on French design of elements from the Byzantine Empire, the Saljuq Islamic period and the Ottoman Empire. Specific motifs, borrowed from the original Turkish carpets, included arabesques or stylized flowers and vegetal scrolls and decorative animal forms—also included within the generic term ‘grotesques’—from the Renaissance onwards. From the Middle Ages inventories and accounts record objects façon de Turquie imported from the East through the Crusades or the Silk route. In the accounts (1316) of Geoffroi de Fleuri, treasurer to King Philippe V of France, ‘11 cloths of Turkey’ were noted, and in 1471 the inventory of the château of Angers records a wooden spoon and a cushion ‘à la façon de Turquie’. In the 16th century Turkish textiles were highly prized, and Turkish craftsmen were employed in Paris to embroider cloth for ladies’ dresses: in ...