Alexandria— HE Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, Chairperson of the BA Board of Trustees, gave an address on Wednesday, 24 October 2007 on the occasion of the inauguration of “AKAA Winners Retrospective” Exhibition.
HE Mrs. Mubarak spoke on the significance of this international award, awarded to prominent architects in the Islamic world, including eminent Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, whose exhibition will be inaugurated on 25 October 2007 at the BA, as part of the BA fifth anniversary celebrations.
She congratulated HRH Prince Karim Aga Khan on his brilliant vision in searching for distinguished architecture models in the Islamic communities; his support to numerous activities that build the cultural awareness of Muslims; and his efforts to highlight the real value of the heritage of Islamic architecture and art, and encourage Muslim architects to produce contemporary architectural models that conform with the Islamic civilization. To achieve this ambitious goal, the Aga Khan allocated a triennial award to honor prominent models that succeed in integrating cultural authenticity with contemporary techniques.
In her inaugural address, Mrs. Muabark also referred to the impressive Aga Khan project Al-Azhar Park and thanked HRH Karim Aga Khan on his tremendous generosity. She also mentioned the obstacles and challenges facing the project at its outset, and highlighted the enormous achievement exerted at the Al-Azhar Park in Cairo. She added that architecture is not only a mirror reflecting the culture of a certain society, it also drafts the culture of societies—architects participate in formulating the culture of their communities, architecture means preserving heritage, and is the language of the future.
HRH Prince Karim Aga Khan gave an address on the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, expressing his admiration to the BA achievements during the past five years. He expressed his happiness to participate in this event, which is part of the BA celebrations on its fifth anniversary, coinciding with the celebration of the Aga Khan Foundation on the occasion of the Aga Khan Award tenth round (2005–2007). He also expressed his appreciation to Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, Chairperson of the BA Board of Trustees for her wise leadership and untiring support to the Aga Khan Office in Egypt.
He added that the BA was offered the Aga Khan Award for Architecture two years following the Library’s inauguration, which reflects the enormity of the BA’s achievements on the architectural, cultural, and civilization levels during a considerably short period of time.
HRH Prince Aga Khan also stressed the major role played by Egypt and its architects in founding the Award, referring to the work of Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, who was a member of the First Aga Khan Steering Committee.
Following the address of HRH Prince Aga Khan, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria, gave a presentation on the history of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, in which he commented on the launch of the Award 30 years ago, and presented pictures of the Award Winner Projects.
At the end of the inaugural session, Mrs. Mubarak led the BA guests to inaugurate the Exhibition.