Adult Programs

Cairo at the Heart of the Grand Tour: Medieval Travellers from Spain to China

Fragment of wool tabby with wool and cotton tapestry Fayyum, Egypt 9th - 10th century? Wilkinson Collection, Gift of Albert and Federico Friedberg.

Pre-registration is required.  Ticket sales will not be available at the door.

Note: This lecture will be held at the Ismaili Centre Toronto, 49 Wynford Drive, Toronto.  Paid parking will be available.

Spanning the globe from Spain to China, the medieval Islamic world offered a large landscape in many ways socially, morally and culturally cohesive, while also remarkably varied from region to region.  The religious command for all Muslims to travel to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage combined with the Prophet Muhammad’s directive that Muslims seek knowledge everywhere, “even unto China”, to make long-distance travel into a societal norm for all and a personal goal for many. Travelers crisscrossed kingdoms and empires, following their internal maps of what was valuable, noteworthy or necessary. Fulfilling another Islamic value, to spread knowledge, many travelers wrote about their journeys and have given us their chronicles of the great and the ordinary, the fabulous and the depraved. Some are joyous, some scientific, but all move along with eyes wide open to record the wonders of the world, both manmade and God-given.  Great cities were growing up and growing more, some on ancient sites and some as grand examples of new city planning with architectural and social innovations. Travelers made sure to include Cairo on their itineraries. Come join one of the leading authors on medieval travel, as she explores the pathways of these journeys, with an illustrated lecture on Cairo as beacon, inspiration and resplendent goal of intercontinental travelers a millennium ago.

Speaker: Alice Hunsberger, American Federation of Arts

Presented in Partnership by the Royal Ontario Museum and His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Canada.

More Cairo Under Wraps lectures


Ismaili Center Toronto, 49 Wynford Drive, Toronto
Ticket does not include parking. Paid parking available.



Cairo Under Wraps: Early Islamic Textiles