Islamic Museum of Australia opening in Thornbury next month
AUSTRALIA'S first Islamic museum is attracting huge interest from schools more than a month before opening its doors in Thornbury early next month.
The $10 million Islamic Museum of Australia will open its doors to the public and school groups on March 3.
Education director Sherene Hassan said more than 30 schools from throughout Victoria, as well as Tasmania and South Australia, had contacted the museum to organise a tour.
She said the tours provided an interactive experience for students across five galleries: Islamic faith, Australian Muslim history, Islamic contributions to civilisation, Islamic architecture and art as well as a series of visiting exhibitions.
"Students will be able to try on clothes pilgrims to Mecca would wear," Ms Hassan said.
"They can learn about the Muslim contribution to maths, astronomy, arts and music and play chess on an oversizes chess board and participate in workshops exploring mosaic and calligraphy."
Ms Hassan said the museum would also launch a dedicated, free online resource built around the national curriculum, which she and museum founder Mustafa Fahour, hoped would further promote cross-cultural harmony.
Former corporate banker Moustafa Fahour came up with the concept for the museum in 2010 and won funding support from all levels of government, community and industry to bring the project to fruition.
"One of the most effective ways to promote cultural diversity and social cohesion is via the universal language of the arts and education," Mr Fahour said.
"Victoria has been home to a Chinese, Jewish and Greek museum for many years so the time is right to reflect on Australia's rich cultural diversity with the addition of an Islamic Museum," he said.
The museum - at 15a Anderson Rd, Thornbury - will open it's doors on Monday, March 3, from 10am.