Saturday September 15, 2012 marked the opening of the Hajj Exhibition in Toronto, Canada. Over eight months in preparation, the team at MARC, designed this exhibition to convey the deeply personal experience of Hajj – a journey of a lifetime, which touches the heart and transforms the pilgrim. The exhibition covered the route, rituals and rationale of this journey, with sounds and scenes to emphasize its spiritual awareness. At its inauguration, hundreds of visitors, young and old, from all faith communities were invited to deepen their understanding of the significance and history of the Hajj through numerous displays and presentations. Visitors were transported to the year 1325 as they viewed the epic journey of Ibn Battuta, one of the most famous travelers in history captured in the IMAX movie – Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta.
For those who have performed the rites of Hajj, this exhibition revived the spiritually uplifting experience of merging into the sea of humanity as they viewed a scaled replica of the Kaaba resplendent in gold embroidered black cloth hung from the ceiling. For those who have yet to go Hajj, this was an educational primer into the rites and rituals as the pilgrims would travel through the exact locations and sequence from the beginning to the end of the Hajj experience which was replicated on the exhibition floor.
In keeping with the mission of MARC, the team created a rich learning environment that demonstrated the Hajj experience and illustrated how Muslims strive to become closer to Allah during this journey. A video of the exhibition can be seen below. The movie, Journey to Mecca, can be viewed at the Mulla Asghar Memorial Library & Islamic Resource Centre.
Our exhibition was also featured in the April 23 issue of Federation Samachar (see page 63).