Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Riyadh international conference highlights history of Islamic currency

An international conference with a focus on the history of Islamic currency is being staged in Riyadh.
Experts from around the world are meeting in the King Abdullah Financial District until Saturday to discuss numismatics, the study and collection of coins, banknotes, and medals.

Held to coincide with International Museum Day on May 18, the event, organized by the Saudi Museums Commission, aims to preserve, define, and promote the Kingdom’s cultural heritage by highlighting the historic importance of Islamic coins.

Ways to expand the museum sector through research and tourism were also being looked at.

Conference speaker, Dr. Alain Baron, discussed the influential role of female rulers in ancient and medieval times in his session, The Great Queens of Islam.

He noted their courage and intelligence which had enabled them to shape the course of history, referring to leaders such as SHajjar Al-Durr, and Zubaidah bint Ja’far, the first queen in the Islamic world to strike coins under her own name.

Baron founded Numismatica Genevensis S.A., in Geneva, a company that has been selling and auctioning coins and smashing price records since 2000.

Baron, who gained a Ph.D. in numismatics from Vienna and Rome and has extensive experience working with on governmental and museum projects, said: “I think this will be a very important contribution in showing how important the coins are for the culture, not only of the Arabic world but the world generally.”

Another speaker, Dr. Ahmed Desouky, an associate professor in Cairo University’s Islamic archaeology department, spoke about the Arabization of the Byzantine dinar.

He said: “The stage of transition to pure Arab Islamic money was a major event that put the Islamic state on the same level as the world powers at that time, specifically the Byzantine state.”

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