Aspects of Islamic Gardens: Multi-Meanings of Paradise

MOHA Research Center, organized the International Conference on “Aspects of Islamic gardens: Multi-meanings of paradise”, that took place at the Grande Salle of Imaret, Kavala.

This international conference hosted, among others, distinguished keynote speakers from the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT, the University of Michigan, Dumbarton Oaks, Istanbul University, Sultan Qaboos University and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It aspired to bring together experts on Islamic culture from the fields of arts, history and theory of architecture, landscape architecture, environmental design & engineering, aiming at an interdisciplinary interaction and emergence of new concepts.

The conference, was co-organized by MOHA Research Center and E.MA.T.T.E.C.H. (Eastern Macedonia & Thrace Institute of Technology) and supported by Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI) and MOHA. It was held under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO.

Conference Program

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Session A: Context for paradise

Keynote speaker: Professor Nasser Rabbat, director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, MIT: “The Complex Image of the Islamic Garden”

Paper presentations:

  • Yasser Tabbaa (Institute of Ismaili Studies): “Not in the Qur’an: The Pastoralist Paradise”
  • Nuha Khoury (Dar al-Kalima College): “From Tur’a to Janna: Cultural Narratives of the Garden in Early Islam”
  • Alexandros Kantartzis & Lamprini Pappa (TEI of Epirus): “The meaning of paradise throughout Christian, Islamic, and Eastern Religions and its application to Contemporary Intercultural Gardens”
  • Sophia Rhizopoulou (National & Kapodistrian University of Athens):“Aspects of paradisiacal garden environment: Moral virtues linked to plant species”
  • Emma Clark (The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, UK): “The Islamic Garden as an Opportunity for Bridge-building between Cultures”

Guest lecturer: Aggeliki Ziaka (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): “Paradise: The search for the gardens of the divine beauty according to the sufis”

Special session: In the gardens

Guest artist: Irini Gonou, “Whispering Reeds in Woven Gardens”

Paper presentations:

  • Anastasios Tellios with Nikos Xenos & Kiriaki Goti (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): “Filigree Folds: Installation at the Imaret mosque”
  • Georgios K. Soutos_Architect: “TROPE From Natural to Directed – A Vegetated Landscape of Inhabitable Corridors”
  • Eleni Antonara (Environmental Educational Center of Filippi) & Nikolaos Lianos (Democritus University of Thrace): “From the current, the visible, the accessibleto, the previous, the invisible, the non-tangible. An Environmental Educational Approach for the Local History and the Islamic garden as a modern concept of learning”

Guest lecturer: Nurhan Atasoy, former director chairman of Fine Arts, Istanbul University:“Ottoman flowers on their way to Europe”


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Session B: Influences and Relations

Keynote speaker: Michael Conan, former director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Museum of Harvard University: “Making Sense of Islamic Garden Traces”

Paper presentations

  • Sara Mahdizadeh (University of Sheffield): “Private Shiraz’s gardens of architectural merit in transition to public space”
  • Veli Ortacesme & Buket Senoglu (Akdeniz University): “Turkish Islamic Garden in Antalya, Turkey”
  • Dina Baroud (Notre Dame University) & Kinda Tabbaa (University of Adelaide): “A paradise for women: Islamic Cemeteries as Leisure Gardens”
  • Nikos Kalogirou & Despoina Zavraka (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): “Landmarks and open space in Ottoman Thessaloniki”
  • Velika Ivkovska (Istanbul Technical University): “The reflecting architectural design elements from its Ancient Persian origins into the gardens of the East and the West”
  • Alexandros Kantartzis & Lamprini Pappa (TEI of Epirus):“Arahthos Imaret, an Ottoman landmark in Arta, Western Greece”
  • Meryem Atik & Veli Ortacesme (Akdeniz University): “Use of Water as a Landscape Element in Turkish Gardens”
  • Shaha Parpia (University of Adelaide): “Mughal hunting parks: landscapes and politics”
  • Mohammadreza Shahidipak (Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch):“Character of heaven cities and paradise in Quran, the case using the Quranic verses about paradise in Taj
    Mahal inscriptions”

Session C: Engineered paradise

Keynote speaker: Nikolaos Katopodes, (University of Michigan, USA):“Miracles of a Water Paradise – a Fluid Mechanics Perspective”

Keynote speaker: Anvar Kacimov, Professor and Dean of the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University: “Micro-climate Control by Shading, Impeded Heat Conduction and Evapotranspirative Cooling of Mini-gardens in Arid Environment: From Muscatese Window to Smart Design of Soil Substrate”

Paper presentations

  • Theodoros Kolydas (General Director of Hellenic National Meteorological Service), Dimitrios Emmanouloudis & Zaimes George (Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology): “Gardens of sciences. The influence of Arabs in meteorology and hydrology”

Special speech on closing ceremony: Archbishop of Scandinavia Metr. Kleopas:“Defining Environmentalism as a Spiritual Responsibility.”

For more information please contact us: Tel.: +30 2510 620 154-151 | Email: [email protected]

TypeInternational Conference
Date10-12 October 2014