The Institute of Ismaili Studies, founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of its establishment with a series of programmes starting October 19, 2003. The events marking the occasion will include: a three-day international colloquium on the Qur’an and the Arts, an accompanying exhibition of manuscripts and artefacts and a graduation ceremony honouring current graduates and alumni.

The colloquium ‘Word of God, Art of Man: The Qur’an and its Creative Expressions’, will bring together scholars with varied interests in the areas of architecture, metalwork, woodwork, numismatics, textiles, ceramics and anthropology, in addition to manuscripts, calligraphy and illumination, to discuss their research on the Qur’an as a source of artistic inspiration on the material culture of Muslims from around the world and through the ages.

Accompanying the colloquium, an exhibition of manuscripts and artefacts in the Institute’s collection will also be on display. Extending from China to Tunisia and ranging from the 9th to 19th centuries, Qur’anic manuscripts will be juxtaposed with important scientific texts and objects that reflect the great diversity and range of visual, artistic and intellectual cultures from the Muslim world.

In addition to these events, a Graduation Ceremony for the current class of the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH) will take place on the afternoon of October 19th. The Class of 2004, consisting of 15 students from seven countries will be honoured in addition to previous graduates of GPISH and the Institute’s earlier human resource development programmes which began as early as 1980.