The Irish Times

Patterns of light and colour that bear endless repeating

The Monir Museum in Tehran is displaying the work of Monir Sahroudy Farmanfarmaian, first for a female artist in the country. She saw many of her works confiscated and destroyed following the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, so she emigrated to New York. In 2004 she returned and felt able to reopen her studio and workshop in Tehran. Geometric patterning is part and parcel of Monir’s visual language. Her work synthesises traditional Islamic art and design and Western geometric abstraction.

Western governments and companies are poised to test Islamic bond markets

With the ongoing credit squeeze from the debt crisis and uncertainty still stalking capital markets, many Western firms are eyeing up the Islamic liquidity pool as an alternative source of finance. The Irish energy group ESB had applied to local regulators in Malaysia for permission to issue a bond, with the aim of raising €1 billion. Had the issuance gone ahead, the ESB would have become the first Irish company, and one of the non-financials in Europe, to issue a Sharia-compliant bond. Nonetheless, prospective investors reportedly showed interest in investment in asset-rich companies like the ESB. Ireland already commands a share of pie when it comes to fund management, with some 20 per cent of Europe’s Sharia-compliant funds domiciled in Dublin’s Irish Finance Services Centre (IFSC).

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