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American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism
Founded in 1992, American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (AMILA) is committed to spiritual enrichment, intellectual freedom, and community service.




Pictures from the 1998 Islamic Art Fair

The 1998 Islamic Art Fair took place on October 18 from 2 - 7 pm at the San Francisco Arab Cultural Center, at the corner of Plaza and Laguna Honda in San Francisco. This event was the first of its kind in California. This juried exhibit showcased original ceramics, photography, Arabic calligraphy, paintings, and tile mosaics by California Muslim artists, and highlighted the contributions of Islam to the world of contemporary art. Highlights included photos of Yemen and Jerusalem by nationally-acclaimed photographer Said Nuseibeh, traditional calligraphy learned under Turkish masters, and contemporary art ranging from abstract to "naive" to symbolic, and more. All works were for sale at prices from $30 to $5,000.

Participating artist Khalil Bendib said: "Allah [God] is the source of all things beautiful. For an artist, trying to reflect God's beauty through art is akin to the act of praying. Sharing this feeling with a wide audience is a special privilege."

The Art Fair was a benefit for two local Muslim organizations: Stepping Together, a Muslim social service agency meeting the health, child care, and counseling needs of Muslim women, and Bilal Ibn Rabah Institute, the Bay Area's only Muslim high school.

Entertainment was provided by the al-Marjaanah Ensemble, featuring 'ud, percussion, kanun and violin.

Khalil Bendib, "Kasbah"

AMILA's table at the art fair,
with information and brochures

Photographer Saïd Nuseibeh answering
questions about his work

Khalil Bendib and his wife with
Khalil's art collection

Khalil's mosaics, paintings, and
tilework on display

The entrance to the first
Islamic Art Fair in California

Artworks on the walls inside the
Arab Cultural Center

Decorative plates
on display (and for sale)

Authentic Moroccan music entertained
the art aficionados