The founder and brainchild of Ilm Arts Festival is the philanthropist Sajid Hussain aka “The Maestro”. Born and raised in the UK, from a young age Sajid has always been an entrepreneur at heart, from his days at school renting movies to students and teachers, through to organising exclusive boat parties for the financial elite of London. Sajid began his proffesional life as a consultant working for major financial blue chip corporations around the world after being shortlisted but then denied an interview for a full time position due to the color of his skin. This experience moulded his life and he vowed never to work for anyone on a permanent basis; rather to work for himself and explore his passions.
Sajid continued to establish himself in the property market, and became an avid traveller. Through his travels, visiting over 70 countries he began his journey to understand people and culture. Having adopted Kuala Lumpur as his home, aside from his own businesss, he began to develop various programs that were of community benefit, organising events and conferences that catered for the needs of the Malaysian people. Sajid ran a charity for 5 years during which he was responsible for launching shelters for women, feeding the poor, educating the masses and engaging the youth. He began to identify gaps in the market, and identify niche areas, which he soon began crafting the solutions for. One of his most recent initiatives was the hugely sucessful Marriage Conference event that recognised the needs of young people to find a suitable partner and offered counselling serivces to those encountering difficulites in their marriages. His approach was to create giant conventions where everything was provided for under one roof, from finding a spouse through to the services needed for the wedding itself. This concept has since been replicated by Sajid across South East Asia whilst there is a huge interest in his vision coming from beyond the region.
Sajid has always been passionate about the arts and began connecting with creatives around the world. Having already delivered various arts programs in Malaysia, it was only a matter of time where his vision for a faith-inspired global arts festival was soon to hit Malaysia. Mobilising a dedicated team around him, Sajid has embarked upon a groundbreaking festival, that aims to connect the arts with faith and social change.
The Ilm Arts Festival was born in 2015 and this is his current major committment.
The first ever Ilm Arts Festival is directed
by the award winning UK artist, curator and creative producer Mohammed Ali. Ali has been a pioneer in the street-art movement, fusing street art with Islamic script and patterns, delivering powerful and moving messages. Art meets faith, identity and social change in Ali’s work, adorning the canvas of walls and public spaces and continues to change the visual landscapes of the cities we live in. His art has inspired and informed a new generation across the globe, to boldly express their identity and ideals.
Ali’s ethos of “taking art to the people” has evolved to combine street art with live performances, installations, digital projections and moving soundscapes. He has created truly immersive experiences for audiences throughout the world. From street canvases in New York, Amsterdam, London and Melbourne, to intimate performances in the Vatican, Ali has used his art and collaborations with critically acclaimed musicians and poets to produce unique theatrical experiences.
His work serves as a bridge, bringing together communities divided by culture, faith and ethnicity. Ali’s complex exploration of challenging social
issues through Art, provide transformative and radical tools to counteract challenges facing society.
In 2008 Ali established Soul City Arts a global arts movement bringing together artists, activists and communities. It was driven by a shared commitment to transform society. Ali describes his approach as ‘shifting mindsets’. His formula is to combine creative expressions with strategic visioning, and has been awarded commissions with international NGO’s, corporations, and charities.
The Ilm Arts Festival is excited to be working with Mohammed Ali to present a unique new festival celebrating faith, art and creativity.