The Ilm Academy Middle Schoolers had a field trip to the Asian Arts Museum in San Francisco in the Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. It was much looked forward to trip to the Museum with its collection of over 18,000 arts objects, some dating back 6,000 years, classified as masterpieces from areas such as China, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Japan, and Korea.
The student group from Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth grades was accompanied by the teachers and parent chaperones. The Asian Arts Museum, located across San Francisco City Hall and built in 1916, was initially designed as the Main Public Library of the city but later became the museum. The collection of artifacts in the museum are among Asia’s most comprehensive of their kind.
Not only was the entire bus ride to the city enjoyable for the students, but also the tour of the museum. Upon return they recount the enjoyable, educational experience.
“We saw many intricate sculptures, some of which took over a decade to make. We saw how intricate the designs were and I imagined how it would be I we spent a decade working on something. My overall experience was amazing.” Sumha Khan, 8th Grade.
“It was a great experience because it felt like I was looking into the past. I wondered how it felt to live in that time. Also, touring the South Asian section, I felt good because I now know what environment my parents grew up in.” Hamza Bandarkar
“Going to the Asian Arts museum was a beneficial learning experience for me. It provided useful insight on life in ancient life, and how art was created and preserved. I particularly enjoyed viewing the Quranic manuscripts and calligraphy, considering my Islamic upbringing. It was amazing to see how people could create such beautiful works of art without modern technology.” Salman Hasan, 8th Grade
“My best parts in the museum were when we learned and saw in real life how a tea ceremony was done in Japan. I also liked holding a real metal katana, a long Samurai sword, and its case. When I wielded it like I was a Samurai. I also learnt what lacquer was and how it was used. All in all, I liked some parts of the museum and disliked some parts such as the buddhas.” Haroon Qureshi, 5th Grade,
“I loved the Asian Arts Museum. I looked at everything and enjoyed seeing it all. I couldn’t figure out how the ancient people made the objects and the paintings. My favorite parts of the Museum were hard to pick. I loved seeing the Samurai sword. I have a dream of owning a real sword. I also loved seeing an old Quran in the India part of the exhibit. It felt good to see proof of Islam at that time.” Abed Helmand, 5th Grade
“All in all, the museum had many things to learn about. We learned a lot about ancient times especially the tea ceremony and the Samurai.” Aysha Shaghasi, 8th Grade
“When I went to the Museum, I thought I would see ancient replicas but I saw real artifacts excavated in different places and time periods. Some of them were masterpieces of silk, art and ivory from many different countries.” Bilal Makda, 8th Grade
“The best part in the museum was the Islamic culture. We saw an old Quran too. It makes sense. There were Islamic cultures in Asia.” Asha Elmi, 5th Grade
“The Asian Arts Museum was all about Asian Arts. We toured the Japan part then had lunch in front of the City Hall. They had two Qurans on the third floor in the Middle East section and also many daggers. In the China section, they had many Jade objects. In the Japan section they had many statues, katana, and Samurai armor. They also had tea house. On the bus ride back to school, there were riddles, Arabic word definitions, and history problems.” Harith Hurani, 5th Grade
“The Asian Arts Museum was full of galleries and exhibits. It is not your ordinary mini museum. It had an exhibit with Islamic history and Qurans over 200 years old. I think the Museum’s exhibits and galleries are very detailed and teach you a great deal of history and cultures. You even get a hands-on experience of a tea ceremony! A very sacred and cultural ceremony for the Japanese.” Mariam Malik, 6th Grade
“The Quran in the Asian Arts Museum showed how Allah (swt) protects His book. Allah (swt) has taken the job of protecting the Quran. It was in the Middle East Section.” Behzad Mujahid, 5th Grade
“I liked all of the old artifacts that were in the museum. They all had writing on them that showed what they were and how they were used. I experienced all of the Japanese things. In my opinion, the Museum was great and I learned a lot.” Mahaviya Durrani, 5th Grade
“The Asian Arts Museum was beautiful. I am fascinated by old artifacts, old arts, and amazing facts. The statues must have taken a lot of time to collect and organize. There was one object that took my breath away. It wasn’t the intricate statues or the Japanese tea house. It was the ancient Quran, truly a work of beauty. In the Middle East section, the ancient Quran sits, opened, waiting to be read. And it is in the most perfect condition. The letters are written so clearly that you could read them. That was truly my favorite part of the Museum.” Mehvish Bondre, 5th Grade