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The Artist Using Real Gold to Tell Islam's Greatest Story

We sat down with Abdelazeem at his studio in Nasr City to get a closer look at his gold technique, and how he uses them to capture one of history’s greatest stories in illuminating detail.

Mariam Nowar

Egyptian artist Taher Abdelazeem had long contemplated the story of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him), before he finally understood it as a visual panoramic display - and decided to use that epiphany to tell Islam’s most important tale.

"I waited until the vision was completed and consulted with Dar Al Ifta's Head, Ali Gomaa," Abdelazeem tells #CairoScene. "I was surprised that he welcomed the idea, and I was even more surprised when he opened the exhibition in 2010 at Mokhtar Museum." 

Abdelazeem started painting ‘El Seera Al Nabaweya’ (The Prophet's Biography) collection in 2008, which tells the story of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him) from his birth, to the moment he received the prophecy, and beyond. Abdelazeem dedicated countless hours of research to get every detail as close to reality as possible, to faithfully capture that bygone era as accurately as he could. Over the years and across multiple pieces, his artistic expression went through many phases. In 2021, his art was displayed side by side at Cairo Opera House, each individual piece completing the other in an awe-inspiring panorama.

Over more than a decade, the collection had been displayed several times around the world, including Turkey, Jordan, and Tunis. After Abdelazeem honed his golden technique, which uses actual sheets of gold as a canvas, ‘El Seera Al Nabaweya’ transformed into ‘El Seera Al Zahabeya’ (The Golden Biography), representing not just his  evolution as an artist but the next brilliant phase of the collection as a whole. 

We sat down with Abdelazeem at his studio in Nasr City to get a closer look at his gold technique, and how he uses them to capture one of history’s greatest stories in illuminating detail.