One of the things Islam offers to the world is its beautiful Islamic arts and culture. Realising the importance of preserving Islamic arts, Yayasan Restu was established to revive them in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. Up to this date, the foundation has created various products containing various Islamic arts elements.
Mohamed Anwar Abu Bakar, Head of Marketing and Public Relations at Yayasan Restu, shared that Yayasan Restu has been around for almost 30 years.
“We had a humble beginning where we started with 10 people, with just an activity of copying the Quran. We thought we could buy the manuscript from Saudi and start doing our work here. However, to own the intellectual property (IP), they charge us a few million US dollars. With that amount, we realised we would instead train our local staff.
“We have a college. We trained them how to write in this course called the Diploma in Mushaf Arts – you have the Islamic arts, the floral and geometric sides.”
After a long journey and thorough research, it took Yayasan Restu 10 years to produce the first Quran, which was hand-copied, written and illuminated. From the core of beautifying the Quran, the foundation takes the culture of the arts to other spaces – art spaces, interior designs, 3D, holograms, etc.
WITC as a learning platform
Touching on the 3rd World Islamic Tourism Conference (WITC), Anwar stated that it was an opportunity for Muslims or non-Muslims to come and witness how tourism could address Islamophobia and misconception about Islam.
“This is one of the venues where we can tackle this misconception that certain groups of people are doing for their benefit. It is an opportunity for everyone to understand what Islam is all about indirectly. It is a way of life.
“Everyone, especially the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and business owners, can take advantage of this kind of programme and encourage the coming generations, like students, to come and participate and learn from some of the social enterprises.”