Shelby's Social Diary

Magical evening enchants patrons of the Arts of the Islamic World

Magical evening enchants patrons of the Arts of the Islamic World

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Christopher Mendel , Dr. Y. Harati , Monsour Taghdisi Photo by Gary Fountain
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Shirin Kooros , Cathy Kooros , Nick Florescu Photo by Gary Fountain
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Assistant Curator Francesca Leoni discusses one of the exhibits Photo by Gary Fountain
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Photo by Gary Fountain
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Catherine Ozdogan , Cenk Ozdogan , Amy Purvis Photo by Gary Fountain
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Omar Rehmatulla , Sabiha Rehmatulla Photo by Gary Fountain
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Dr. Yousif Shamoo , Dr. Lisa Chen , Andrea White , Bill White Photo by Gary Fountain
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Kelly Davis , Garth Davis Photo by Gary Fountain
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Hadia Mawlawi , Carla Frateschi , Rania Daniel , Sultana Mangalji Photo by Gary Fountain
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Azra Rauf , Nina Ali Photo by Gary Fountain
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Sima Ladjevardian , Maxi Ettehadieh Photo by Gary Fountain
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Farhood Malek , Francesca Leoni , Behrooz Ramesh Photo by Gary Fountain
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News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10
News_Islamic Gala_May 10

Building on three years of generous community support, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Arts of the Islamic World department reached a glowing crescendo Friday night with its "Into the Mystical Realm" black-tie gala at the museum. More than $600,000 was raised in association with the glamorous soirée.

Museum director Peter Marzio described the fundraiser as a turning point for the initiative that was launched only a few years ago. The evening began with eight highly-valued Islamic works on the museum's wish list and concluded with five remaining in the house.

Beyond works purchased with funds from table sales and underwriting, Franci and Jim Crane provided for the acquisition of a 19th-century Turkish lute and an anonymous donor ponied up for a contemporary wall hanging -- both purchases made before the start of the party.

During the evening, a major Islamic text was purchased for the museum by Rania and Jamal Daniel and Zeina and Nijad Fares. Then, Sabiha and Omar Rehmatulla purchased a medical treatise that museum curators had hoped to secure. And Cathy and Vahid Kooros gifted the museum with a Mamluk metal bowl in honor of Vahid's 105-year-old father.

As if the acquisitions weren't exciting enough, the evening's entertainment — a performance by whirling dervish Ziya Azazi held the audience spellbound. 

Applause, applause for the Arts of the Islamic World executive committee, which oversaw the gala — Monsour Taghdisi, Sima Ladjevardian, Zeina Fares, Rania Daniel, Sultana Mangalji, Vahid Kooros, Franci Crane and Sabiha Rehmatulla.

Braving Friday night's torrential rains to make the party was a generous turnout including Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel, Andrea and Bill White, Laurie and Reed Morian, Ann and Peter Fleur, Anne and Albert Chao, Aliyya Stude and Lily and Hamid Kooros