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Expo 2020 Dubai: Holy Quran Once Owned By Thomas Jefferson Displayed for the First Time

The USA Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo: Courtesy of Expo 2020 Dubai

In another historical addition to Expo 2020 Dubai, a copy of the Holy Quran that was once owned by American president Thomas Jefferson will be displayed at the US pavilion.

Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Holy Quran. Photo: Michaela McNichol, Library of Congress

The copy consists of two volumes, along with a wrapped map of Makkah, placed in a customized wooden box, complete with padding and trays. It is a second edition, with an English translation by George Sale, done in 1734. It was installed by the staff of the Library of Congress, amid high-security provisions and is placed in such a way that it is the first item visitors encounter after viewing a light and sound experience. The experience aims to highlight the founding principles of the US as well as the country’s innovations.

The holy book, dating to 1764 was previously kept in the Library of Congress in Washington DC, USA. The pavilion also offers an English translation of the holy book by Jefferson himself.  It was purchased by Jefferson as a young law student, fostering his interest in world religions. Printed in London, it has not been taken out of the US since it was originally procured by him.

A statement from the US pavilion’s organizers reads, “Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Quran left the US for the first time from its home at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. It is on display in the US pavilion as an integral part of our theme.”

Jefferson was not only the former president of the United States, but also held the post of vice president, as well as one of the founding fathers who shaped American democracy, and author of the Declaration of Independence.

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