35. The History of Mecca by Muhammad Taahir al-Kurdi al-Makki


1993 CE
1414 AH
Found in a bookshop in Mecca, 2015

Much as the Mahmel and Mirat al-haramain that came before me once were, I am the definitive history of Mecca. Of course, I am the best, without wanting to boast, for I am written by Muhammad Taahir al-Kurdi al-Makki, a scholar who taught in the Masjid Al-Haram (Sacred Mosque) of Mecca. Five of those related to him have been the Maliki Imams of the Masjid Al-Haram. His grandfather held the posts of Mufti, then Qadi of Mecca during both Ottoman and Hashemite times and throughout the formation of the Kingdom. So, if you want accurate information, then turn to my pages. For I am said to be the most important book in the history of Mecca.

This work transcends the objects. Ultimately, what I’m working with isn’t only the artefacts themselves, but the stories attached to them. For me, each tale is the manifestation of the object, and each object is a tangible materialisation of an underlying narrative. The work finds its equilibrium somewhere between the stories and chronology they’re chaptered into, the objects becoming knots or points along the timeline, woven into stories as part of the language of this artwork. Each story draws out a tale that intends to trigger imagination and memory, mixing fact with fiction, with the ultimate aim of straddling, conflating and confusing fixed notions of history to open up the unofficial histories that shape the character of place and memory.
Ahmed Mater
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