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Word and Worship

UNC-Chapel Hill's Ackland Art Museum presents an exhibit that emphasizes the international and historical scope of Islam and its modern-day presence as a living faith. Word and Worship: Approaching Islam Through Art is part of the Five Faiths Project, a multiyear mission that focuses on five major religious faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. The project started in 1996 to respond to the growing diversity in North Carolina and as a means of teaching respect and tolerance for all religions, and includes a teacher's guide for introducing religious art to students. Curated by Carolyn Wood, one of the main highlights of Word and Worship is Islam in North Carolina. Public school teachers, UNC scholars, the Islamic Center of Raleigh, the Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center in Durham, UNC's Muslim Student Association were among the local groups and organizations who collaborated and made suggestions concerning the collection. A study center on Islam includes photographs by N.C. Muslim children, an audio of Arabic recitations from early suras (chapters) or the Quran and an educational brochure designed by students of UNC professor, Dr. Charles Kurzman. The local Muslim community also loaned various objects such as examples of Quranic calligraphy, found on ritual objects and major Muslim architectural works, like the museum's 16th-century South Indian mosque lintel. The Word and Worship exhibit shows through Dec. 29 at the Ackland Art Museum, UNC campus, Chapel Hill. Museum hours are Wednesday-Saturday 1-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information on the Word and Worship exhibit or the Five Faiths Project, call 843- 3675 or visit the museum Web sites at www.ackland.org/art/exhibitions/islam/preview.html or www.ackland.org/fivefaiths. --olufunke moses

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