• Inspired by books Islamic Design

    Inspired by books Islamic Design



Amber Rauf is a contemporary artist with many professional artistic skills, however her main interest is in the graphic designing. She creates beautiful digital paintings based on her research and knowledge on Islamic art from all around the world.

Using the Library and collection to find inspiration

She loves to do research on Islamic architecturand & historical objects from different centuries. Amber visited MIA Library many times to complete her research on Islamic art history. She enjoyed reading books about pottery, carpets and architecture which helped her in completing her research. She was really inspired by several books of her interest which include: Islamic Art N-6260. M6913 - 2010, Islamic Art and Architecture N-6260. I725-2004, Iznik NK-4340-I9-A82714-1990.

Creating designs

Amber recreates Islamic art with a modern twist. Each of her designs tells a story about a specific time from old ages how fascinating it was, keeping the main identity of historical Islamic art she took elements/motifs from Iznik pottery, geometric designs from Islamic architecture combined them together and made beautiful patterns. She loves to show Islamic art in interesting modern versions.

The Finished product

Amber Rauf had an exhibition "Islamic Prints and Patterns" at the Grand Hyatt Doha her artwork were on display for more than a month. Currently 8 of her finest designs are exhibited at MIA library for 3 months.
Find out more about Amber's work.




Raya Wolfsun (Rabeya Merenkov) is an artist and independent scholar with expertise in the area of Islamic astrolabes. What draws her to them is how art has been made out of these scientific objects. "There is so much going on in them," she explains. "They are layered, like poems that play across star-lore, engineering, geography, spirituality, calligraphy, and visual design."

Using the Library and collection to find inspiration

Raya has spent many hours both visiting the astrolabe galleries in the museum and also sitting in the MIA Library reading many of our books on this topic. She is especially inspired by books that look at the background stories of astrolabes and art in Islamic culture, these include: Beauty in Arabic Culture by Doris Behrens-Abouseif, 1999 (BH221.A65 B3413 1999), Eastern Astrolabes by David Pingree, 2009 (QB85 .A347 2009), Islamic astrolabists and their works by Mayer, L. A. (Leo Ary), 1895-1959. (QB85 .M32 1956) and The Time Museum by A.J. Turner, 1985 (QB85.T58 1984).  

Creating designs

While her ink drawings bear some visual resemblance to the curving arabesque motifs seen on astrolabes and many other objects, she insists that she is also influenced by some of the themes and mentalities behind Islamic art: “There are some ideas about beauty from the medieval Islamic thinkers which I find quite inspiring. On one hand, there is the notion that beauty in the world - whether in nature or something beautifully crafted - is a healing thing that produces a sense of wonder and connection to Something Greater. There is also a sense that the act of creating beautiful things should be a contemplative exercise - and when I do the ink drawings, whether standalone images or the marginalia in my notebooks, the process is indeed meditative.”

The Finished product

This is an example of Rabeya’s work entitled “The Astronomer Under”. You can find out more about Raya’s art, research, and writing on her website: www.rayawolfsun.com

Inspired by Islamic Art

MIA’s Islamic Art Creators & Collectors Club provides a venue for makers, artists, collectors and anyone who is inspired by Islamic art to explore ideas and learn more about Islamic artworks, their creation, display and care.

Any questions, contact Susan Parker-Leavy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Collectors Club Rules

The MIA Islamic Art Collectors Club provides a venue for private collectors to come together, to explore ideas and learn more about conservation, research, display of objects, collections management, and ethical issues relating to collecting - and for collectors to have a chance to share thoughts and talk about issues related to collecting.

The Club is open to collectors who focus on the visual arts of Islamic civilisations.

The Club gathers at MIA Library on a regular basis to fulfill the purpose as stated above.

The Club is open to all collectors of Islamic art, as a MIA public programme.

The Museum of Islamic Art will not promote objects belonging to private collectors.

The Club is not a venue to promote the sale, acquisition, or lending of individual items or collections.

Private collectors participating at the Club should follow both the ICOM code of ethics and 1995 UNIDROIT Convention rules relating to collecting. These can be found at the following links:

ICOM Code (PDF) on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects:


and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects


The Museum of Islamic Art does not provide valuations, appraisals, or condition reports for private collections. Collectors may not bring their individual objects or collections to MIA.

Collectors may request advice from MIA Library or other appropriate staff in researching and caring for the objects in their care, at the museum’s discretion.

MIA does not provide conservation services to the public.


Salam Al Hajiry wanted to create wood carvings and designs based on traditional Islamic designs. He wanted to think about making contemporary items like bowling pins, snooker cues and wooden flower vase decorated with traditional Islamic designs. It was important to Salam that the designs related to the history of Islamic art and showed designs from several different periods.

Using the Library and collection to find inspiration

Salam Al Hajiry visited the MIA Library for several months to research his topic of interest. He used over 13 books in the library to complete his research. Some of these books include:
Ivory : 8th to 17th centuries : treasures from the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar by Rosser-Owen, Mariam. Call number NK5895 .R67 2004
Metalwork treasures from the Islamic courts by Allan, James W. Call number NK6473 .A45 2002
كنوز الإسلام : روائع الفن في العالم الإسلامي / تأليف برنار أوكان ؛ ترجمة نورما نابلسي.‫‫أوكان، برنار.‬ NK720 .K86 2009
Jewelled treasures : from the Mughal courts by Qatar Museums Authority. Call number NK7376.Q2 2002

Creating designs

Salam came to the museum and library to do research into Islamic Art Design. He made photocopies of the images in the books on Islamic Art. He then created the design as a sketch and then as a computerised template using AutoCAD. He then selected the type of wood to be used which in this case was teak.

The Finished product

He then began carving the final object from his design - it took over a year and a half to complete the wooden flower vase. It is over one metre in size. At the moment the vase has only been display in his home but he has taught several workshops in wood carving and had lots of good press coverage including an spot on Qatar TV and in several newspapers. He is now working on more designs for objects such as: bowling pins, pool sticks and trophies.