What it Means to Empower Society Through Art and Literature


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Friday, December 14 marked the 20th anniversary of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) where the scholar library of IAMM is officially launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The museum, located in Kuala Lumpur, has more than ten thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic art books.

“It is, I am also told, to be the largest and most comprehensive museum library in Southeast Asia and its primary mission is to support the study and research of the museum’s collection,” Tun Mahathir said.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary attend the launch of the Scholar’s Library during the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Image: Shafwan Zaidon

The museum first open its door to the public 20 years ago (Dec 1998) with the support of Tun Mahathir during his first term as Prime Minister. Therefore, he admits that he has a personal attachment to the museum and is proud of the museum achievements.

“The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia has indeed carved a name alongside other renowned and earlier established Islamic museums and galleries around the world, becoming an educational hub for researchers and a haven for art lovers and enthusiasts,” he said. The intention of the museum is not to glorify the Islamic past or to look down on other civilisation but to educate community on cultural heritage and history.

Syed Mohamad Albukhary, Tun Mahathir M. and Syed Mokhtar Albukhary. Source: Bernama

The function which also marked the 40th anniversary of the Albukhary Foundation, was attended by the IAMM director, Syed Mohamad Albukhary. The director explained that the main objective of the foundation and the museum is to benefit society as a whole.

What the art museum offers is a place for young people to expand their knowledge, to preserve their history and to support the legacy. This is the place where people can get information, learn, expand and become a contributor. IAMM also supports young generation in interests such as calligraphy, storytelling and arts.

Source: Islamic Art Museum

It is important to educate the community on cultural heritage history and museum plays a part of the institution. The IAMM is a place where art, culture and civilisation of Islam, both at home and around the world, can be explored. One of the achievements is that the Albukhary Foundation has partnered a gallery of the Islamic world at the British Museum in London, bridging the Islamic and western world, and raising the  image of Islam.

Syed Mohamad believes that, “Through Art we are able to unite and share our legacy.”


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Amira Alaydroes
Social Development, Art and History enthusiast.

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