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"Roads of Arabia": touring the ancient birthplace of Islam at the Asian Art Museum



The world is united in grief over recent attacks on French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Meanwhile, Muslims are facing violence in the aftermath. Many have denounced it, including the family of a Muslim police officer killed by the gunmen. And many Muslims say what’s needed is a dialogue between civilizations to understand each other on a human level. One way to do that is through sharing ancient art.

The exhibit “Roads of Arabia” showcases the history of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. It features some of Earth's oldest objects, like a million-year-old cooking utensil, incense burners from 5000 BC, and remnants of Pre-Islamic Arabia. The show is making its final North American stop at the at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. KALW's Hana Baba took a trip to the museum and met up with curator Dany Chan, who walked her through the highlights of the exhibit.

DANY CHAN: It has a Lawrence of Arabia or Indiana Jones feel to it. You're on your camel going through the desert of Arabia, examining the artifacts.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.


Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.