COSARAF Sponsor Groundbreaking Ramadan Art Installation

The COSARAF Charitable Foundation is excited to be sponsoring a groundbreaking art installation celebrating the history of the Mosque in Britain at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

“As a family foundation grounded in our deep Islamic beliefs and focused on building sustainable communities, the Ramadan Pavilion very much chimes with our aims to promote equality and integration within society and to encourage tolerance and the freedom to practice religious beliefs. We are proud to be supporting such a unique project which delves into the UK’s history of iconic places of worship and shares this knowledge and insight in such a creative, inclusive and special way. The Ramadan Pavilion will educate the public on Muslim experiences in the UK and encourage conversations to enhance community cohesion.”
Yusuf Sheikh
UK Lead Trustee

The V&A in collaboration with the Ramadan Tent Project present The Ramadan Pavilion 2023, a purpose-built architectural installation inspired by the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan Pavilion 2023 – supported by The Diriyah Biennale Foundation and COSARAF – is designed by architect Shahed Saleem and will open in the Exhibition Road Courtyard at V&A South Kensington from 4 March 2023 until 1 May 2023. The pavilion is part of the annual Ramadan Festival, a series of events, performances and workshops curated and organised by the Ramadan Tent project.

The aim of Ramadan Tent Project’s annual Ramadan Pavilion is to celebrate the lived experiences of Muslims across the UK and the globe during the holiest month of the Islamic calendar. To bring attention to the core values and traditions of Ramadan through architectural expression, experimentation and an associated public arts programme, as part of the annual Ramadan Festival. The festival will also see the return of the UK’s largest community and flagship event in Ramadan, Open Iftar, with 30 events in 30 days across 10 cities, including two Open Iftar events at the V&A.

“The more I looked at mosques across the country the more I saw buildings which defied all notions of convention and taste, usually self-designed and built by highly marginalised and economically deprived communities. In this I saw great resilience, determination and inventiveness. These communities were creating new architectural meanings by drawing from their own lived experience and according to their own rules. In my work I explore this formal vocabulary through sketches and experimental maquettes, and these have now come to fruition in the Ramadan Pavilion which embodies years of observation and exploration."
Shahed Saleem
Designer of The Ramadan Pavilion

Saleem’s design of the inaugural Ramadan Pavilion responds to the first mosque-like structure in Britain, built by architect Sir William Chambers at Kew Gardens in the 18th Century. His new installation evokes an abstracted mosque for the 21st century, just as the first purpose-built mosque at Kew Gardens represented an exoticised other to the European mind.

The design of the Ramadan Pavilion draws inspiration to the V&A’s collection of prints and photographs of mosques and other examples of Islamic architectural design, as well as the architecture of mosques in Britain since the 1960s. The brightly coloured pavilion will take the form of a modern mosque which showcases the dynamic history and evolution of the mosque in Britain and explores themes of worship, belonging and identity. The architecture of the mosque is recombined to create a hybrid composition of parts, held together by new and emerging notions of identity, history and belonging. The design reflects the way that British mosques have been built by their communities, where they reference various traditions of Islamic history through architectural symbols.

The first event of the festival begins with the Welcome Ramadan Conference on Sunday 5 March at the V&A, inviting keynote speakers, scholars, experts, community organisations and the wider public. The themes covered will include spirituality, charity and halal spending, faith and belonging, and culture. The conference will also host the official opening of the inaugural Ramadan Pavilion on a day celebrating the arrival of Ramadan and the contributions made by Muslims during this blessed month to wider British society.

“For the past decade Ramadan Tent Project has connected and convened over half a million people from all backgrounds through its annual Ramadan Festival and flagship initiative Open Iftar. It is with great pride to mark our 10-year anniversary with the launch of the Ramadan Pavilion as the first of its kind, globally. The Pavilion is the latest edition to the Ramadan Festival, bringing communities together at an unprecedented level through innovation, dynamism, and creativity. Ramadan Tent Project is rooted in its work to increase community harmony, belonging, and understanding of Muslim experiences, identity, and heritage. Our work aims to build bridges with different communities, soften hearts and minds and turn strangers into friends. The Ramadan Pavilion is designed to serve not only as a physical structure and installation which inspires visitors connected to Islamic arts and architecture, but also a space for millions of visitors to engage, celebrate and learn about Islam, Ramadan, Muslim history, culture, and heritage.”
Omar Salha
Founder and Chief Executive, Ramadan Tent Project

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Jonathan Freeman MBE, Appointed Board Member of National Citizen Service Trust

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Widening access at Warwick

The second Diversity Day was kindly hosted by the University of Warwick on Thursday 9th November.

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Urgent donation awarded to Muslims Around The World Project for Palestine

Trustees have donated £10,000 to support the humanitarian efforts in Gaza, Palestine to provide urgent aid to innocent civilians.

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