Arab culture is coming to Houston. Over the last few decades Houston, Texas has become renowned for its success in technological sectors like medicine, energy and space. Houston as now to become a culture capital stemmed from its flourishing multi-cultural communities, variety of top restaurants, and diverse museums.
Back in 1901 a discovery of oil was found in Texas that brought prosperity to the city of Houston and by 1950 the oil industry was foremost in the US, and Texaco was born. The oil rich Arab states of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi heavily depended on Texaco to help them explore and develop their own rich oil fields.
This has developed a great relationship between the Arab states and the US over the years which has gradually deepened. The petroleum company Saudi Aramco has their HQ in Houston and sends around 50 of their workers over to Texas A&M University each year to earn degrees in petroleum engineering and other relative studies.
The university also offers Arabic programs in Islamic culture and learning the Arabic language, and the University of Texas at Austin has a stimulating study program of the Middle East with over 300 different programs. Great partnerships have developed between Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Texas A&M as with many other Arab and American educational institutions.
The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the top ten most renowned art museums in the US today. More than one million visitors per year enjoy the range of 63,000 contemporary and ancient art pieces and collections brought together from six different continents.
Back in 2007 the museum brought together a permanent educational and interesting Islamic exhibit from the Far East, Africa and Iberia and called it ‘Arts of the Islamic World’. Presently the museum has a unique collection from 40 world wide institutions called the ‘Gifts of Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts.’ that contains over 250 items that date from the eighth through to the 20th centuries.
The exhibit explores a look at Islamic gift giving that contains gifts that were offered as historic pieces or were manufactured as gifts. This unusual collection shows that giving a gift is a timeless tradition between humans and that some mark a place in history as the receiver and giver and promote feelings of expectation for the future.