“Fairgrounds of the Faithful: Moulids-the Sufi Festivals of Egypt

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 to Saturday, 16 December 2017

From Morocco to Indonesia there are hundreds of thousands of Sufis. One of their most vibrant expressions can be found in the Egyptian Sufi/Dervish festivals called ‘Moulids’ which celebrate the birth of Islamic saints who founded a particular Sufi order. (‘Moulid’ means to give birth in Arabic).

Everywhere in ‘Moulids’ there is spiritual activity accompanied by a cacophony of sounds, smells and colours. For days the normal activities of the mundane world virtually cease to exist, instead devotees bow down in submission to and celebration of the Divine. 

Tim Coleman first started photographing these celebrations in 1990 when he went to the ‘Moulid’ of Sayed el Badawi, in Tanta, the largest ‘Moulid’ in the world. He later made the documentary film – ‘Beyond the Pyramids Lie Fairgrounds of the Faithful’ - one of the few full-length documentaries on the subject and is included in the exhibition.

OPEN: Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 – 17.00, late night Thursday 10.30 – 20.00
CLOSED: Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays



020 7898 4046 (recorded information)

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University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG
Nearest Underground: Russell Square.


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