Revue culturelle N°66

This week's picture

"Untitled", by Hisham Taher

Born in Mosul in 1978, the artist graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad and the Lebanese University. His work focuses on issues related to politics, society and religion. His large paintings with multiple layers of colours express the violence Iraq had to deal with when facing successive bloodsheds and massacres over the past decades. Hisham Taher uses the chair to explain his emotions, and one could find the war behind his harsh coloured lines.

His paintings are currently on display at the gallery Aida Cherfane in Beirut for his solo exhibition entitled "Cheers", which will end on March, 30.

Location: Iraq


Majdouline Benserhir's oud

Originally from Taza and currently based in Rabat, the young woman is passionate about the oud, and she intends to bring the ancestral instrument back to the forefront with modern tracks with contemporary rhythms. Between her music studies and a master's degree in computer science, Majdouline Benserhir has managed to release two tracks: "3yeet" and "Ya Mi". The latter, released in December 2022, is a song addressed to her mother, telling her about her suffering, regrets and hopes. She played in several Moroccan festivals in Rabat, Casablanca, Chefchaouen and Essaouira, and she has just created a new women's orchestra, "Sihr El Qamar" (or in English "magic moon"), whose first YouTube video is online.


Casamémoire organise Les Journées du Patrimoine de Casablanca

Ces dernières se dérouleront du 26 au 28 mai, avec des visites guidées gratuites de différents quartiers et de monuments historiques de la ville blanche. Conférences, animations artistiques et concerts sont également au programme.

Il s’agit de la douzième édition de l’événement qui met cette fois l’accent sur le féminin, avec l’exploration de la notion de « matrimoine ». L’association marocaine Casamémoire propose ainsi de découvrir les femmes derrière l’architecture de Casablanca, à l’instar de Jacqueline Alluchon, la fondatrice de l’association.

Dès aujourd’hui, Casamémoire lance un appel à projets ouvert à tous les acteurs et actrices culturels souhaitant intégrer la programmation culturelle de cette manifestation à travers un projet d’exposition, de conférence, d’installation, de spectacle en cohérence avec le thème de l’édition.

Photo: work by Chadi Llias for the fifth edition of Casamouja, copyright Wecasablanca.


"Music for Women: a Moroccan epic at the heart of our Arab-Jewish-Amazigh heritage"

This concert, scheduled for 15 March, is organised by the Moroccan Association of Andalusian Music in Casablanca, with the aim of honouring this musical genre as well as melhoun, Jewish and Amazigh songs and the Hadra Chechaouniya. Placed under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication, and in partnership with WeCasablanca, this event also aims at paying tribute to Moroccan women.


"Cy Twombly, Morocco 1952/1953" at the Majorelle Garden

A new temporary exhibition is open at the Foundation of the Majorelle Garden, from 4 March to 2 July, in Marrakech. The event is a journey through the kingdom, undertaken by the American painter Cy Twombly in the early 1950s. Tangier, Casablanca, Marrakech, Tiznit, ... The paintings, drawings and photographs of the artist show the high cultural places of Morocco but also various Amazigh sites.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Cy Twombly Foundation and the Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio.

Photo: Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [Cy, North Africa (I)], 1952, copyrights Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York.

Israel, Morocco, Palestine, Iran

Essaouira: launch in March of the Women's World Peace Forum

"The Warriors of Peace", a movement of Jewish and Muslim women for Peace, Justice and Equality, will launch on 7 and 8 March in Essaouira, an "International Women's Appeal for Peace", on the occasion of the International Women's Rights Day.

Initiated in France in 2022 and co-chaired by Hanna Assouline and Fatima Bousso, the movement will bring together women from all over the world, activists for peace but also committed to justice, emancipation and freedom, including Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize winner (Iran), Huda Abu Arquob, President of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (Palestine) and Nurith Hagragh, of Women Wage Peace (Israel).



La ville blanche a organisé la seconde édition de la course « Run4Her » qui vise à promouvoir l’autonomisation et l’inclusion des filles et des femmes par le sport.

Organisée par l’ONG Tibu Africa dans le quartier historique d’Ain Sebaâ, la course solidaire était initiée en partenariat avec l’Ambassade des États-Unis au Maroc et l’Association « We4She ».

Une structure parallèle à la course permettait de découvrir les différentes initiatives sociales et les startups sportives lancées par des femmes, toujours dans une logique de promotion du sport au féminin. Les discussions avec ces différents acteurs du changement permettaient un échange de savoir-faire et d’expériences, en plus de fournir un cadre pour les femmes souhaitant se lancer dans une discipline sportive.

Photo : copyrights « Run4Her » 2022.


Presidency of the Organisation of Democratic and Social Women

Fatiha Lahjouji is the new president of the Organisation of Democratic and Social Women, at the 5th congress of the organisation, succeeding Khadija Oulbacha.


"The soul of cultures"

The new festival in the city of Essaouira was inaugurated on 4 March with a concert bringing together Jews and Muslims to celebrate Moroccan living together. Between Andalusian music, melhoun, gharnati, chgouri, and Sufi songs, the inauguration ceremony paid tribute to the writer Katia Brami Azoulay, in recognition of her efforts for the cultural life of Essaouira.

The festival continues with numerous concerts, but also an important colloquium on "The common spiritual history of Jews and Muslims in Morocco".

Photo: Essaouira, copyrights 2m.


Madrid: "Mano sobre Mano"

This new exhibition is held at Casa Árabe from 2 March to 22 July, in partnership with the Moroccan Embassy in Madrid. It showcases Moroccan craftsmanship through the works of twenty-three master craftsmen, designers and brands. The exhibition was designed by Casa Árabe and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Spain.

Jewellery, caftans, mosaics, zelliges, embroidery, weaving, pottery, ceramics, leather, etc. All the richness and diversity of the kingdom's craftsmanship has been highlighted, as well as the similarities between Morocco and France.

Participating craftsmen : Failiha Ameur Haddad, Hicham Essaidi, Mouna Fassi, Younes Duret, Yelli and Dihyan, Amina Benmoussa and Fadila El Gadi, Soumiya Jalal, ...

Photo: work by Fatima Zahra Akhamal of Corpus Design, copyrights Casa Árabe.

Plastic ArtsExhibitions

Tlemcen: national exhibition of young plastic artists

The fourth edition of the fair began on 5 March at the Abdelkader-Alloula House of Culture. It will end on 8 March with a celebration of women's art. Eleven women artists will participate in a workshop in plastic arts and photography, whose work will then be exhibited.

Plastic ArtsExhibitions

« 60 ans de créativité plastique algérienne » se poursuit à Mascara

L’exposition itinérante organisée dans le cadre des célébrations du soixantième anniversaire du recouvrement de la souveraineté nationale, propose une rétrospective de l’évolution de la création artistique algérienne ces soixante dernières années, depuis l’indépendance. Elle réunit les œuvres de soixante artistes algériens de différentes générations et affiliations artistiques.

The exhibition opened on 26 December at the Palais de la Culture in Algiers, and will continue to tour until 2 July 2023.

Photo: copyrights APS.


Yamina Bachir-Chouikh honoured at the film library of Algiers

The Algerian Cinematography Centre organises on 7 and 8 March at the Algiers Film Library the "Women's Cinema Days" event, which is dedicated to the memory of the late director Yamina Bachir-Chouikh (1954-2022), as part of the celebration of International Women's Rights Day.

The centre offers to discover the director's feature films, such as "Till the end of time", but also other films which deal with the subject of women (e.g., "Saliha" by Mohamed Sahraoui ). A conference tackling "Women in Algerian cinema" is also scheduled, with Hanane Touati, professor in the Arts Department at the University of Bouzareah, and journalist and film critic Mohamed Abidou.

Photo: "Rachida" by Yamina Bachir-Chouikh, released in 2002.


Saida: inauguration of the National University Photography Exhibition

Sixty students participate in this sixth edition with a photography exhibition on the theme of nature and tourism, highlighting the monuments and main sites of the wilaya of Saïda such as the waterfalls of Tifrit (Ouled Brahim commune) or the Roman ruins of Tamazouine (Youb commune).

The exhibition also offers training workshops in photography, as well as musical evenings of chaâbi and Andalusian music.

Photo: copyright El Watan.


The Ministry of Culture and Arts launches the national competition for the best poem in praise of the Prophet Mohamed

This new competition is open to all Algerian poets of the "Fasih" and the "Malhoune". The winners will be chosen at the end of Ramadan.


Algiers: the International Festival of Contemporary Dance returns from 9 to 13 March

This eleventh edition is held at the Algiers Boualem-Bessaih Opera House, with the participation of Algeria, Tunisia but also Mali - guest of honour of the event -, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Italy and France. The organisers wish to put the emphasise on trainings, and offer numerous dance workshops to the public.

Photo : copyrights Radio Algeria.


The National Liberation Front honours several writers

The National Liberation Front party has honoured several men of letters (novelists, poets, literary critics, playwrights, historians and journalists) in recognition of their efforts to enrich national culture and preserve national identity. Among the lucky winners are writer and former minister Zhour Ounissi, writer and moudjahid Mohamed Seghir Belaalam, writer and former minister Mahieddine Amimour and poet Slimane Djouadi.


Fespaco 2023: the Golden Stallion for "Ashkal" by Youssef Chebbi

The 28th edition of the African Film Festival ended on 4 March in Ouagadougou, with the triumph of the film by young Tunisian director Youssef Chebbi. The young director, born in Tunis in 1984, won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga for his film "Ashkal".

Welcoming “extreme rigor” and “work that is out of the ordinary”, the president of the jury, Dora Bouchoucha (Tunisia), specified that the Gold Stallion had been awarded to Youssef Chebbi unanimously. Selected for the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in France, "Ashkal" also won the Golden Antigone, the highest award at the Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival in 2022.

Synopsis of "Ashkal": in Tunisia, in the gardens of Carthage, a new district where modern constructions are juxtaposed with abandoned building sites and vacant wastelands, the body of a guard is found burnt in the middle of a building site. Batal, a cop in his fifties, is in charge of the investigation, assisted by his young niece, Fatma, a thirty-year-old woman. The investigators start by questioning the workers of the nearby construction sites but they are far from imagining what really awaits them in this case...

The male and female actors and actresses of the feature film "Under the fig trees" by Tunisian director Erige Sehiri won the male and female acting awards.

Here are the other prizes which were awarded to the Arab World:

  • Best editing: "Abu Saddam" by Nadine Khan (Egypt);
  • Best Screenplay: "The blue caftan" by Maryam Touzani (Morocco);
  • Sound Award: "Ashkal" by Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia).

The International Siccaveneria Jazz and World Music Festival

The eighth edition of the festival will take place from 14 to 19 March, and will open at the Center for Dramatic and Performing Arts of the city El Kef, with a first concert by jazzman and drummer Malek Lakhoua. He will introduce his brand new project "Majazz". The name of this project evokes the idea of crossbreeding, fusion and alliances. It explains why Malek Lakhoua has brought together several musicians of different genres and nationalities: the Italian vibraphonist (based in Paris) Nicholas Thomas, the French trumpeter Quentin Ghomari, the Swiss double bass player (based in Vienna) Andreas Wealti, and the two Tunisian oud players Aziz Essaied and Mouna Chtourou.

The Sicca Jazz programme will continue with thirteen shows, nine of which will be held at the Centre des arts dramatiques et scéniques du Kef, and four at the Touiref House of Culture, the Tajerwine and Sakiet Sidi Youssef cultural complexes and the Kalaa el-Khasba House of Culture.

Featuring some of the biggest names on the music scene as well as some new talent, this festival gathers several music genres such as electro, trap and traditional music, with the participation of six countries: Tunisia, France, Algeria, Finland, Denmark and the UK.

The full programme can be found at


The French Film Library's Festival offers a retrospective on "Films from the Maghreb" with six major restored works.

This festival, entitled "All the memory of the world", takes place from 8 to 12 March. It offers the opportunity to discover or rediscover restored masterpieces. For this edition, six works have been chosen, including three films by Tunisian director Nacer Khemir:

  • "Bab'Aziz: The prince who contemplated his soul" (2005, restored by Trigon Film-Suisse)
  • "Wanderers of the Desert" (1984, restored by Trigon Film and the royal film library of Belgium)
  • "The Lost Necklace of the Dove" (1991, restored by Trigon Film).

The Carthage Puppet Arts Days are back after two years of coronavirus.

The third edition of the festival is ready to welcome from 19 to 26 March puppeteers from eighteen countries around the theme "Puppet, Art and Life" at the cultural center of Chedli-Klibi in Tunis. Egypt is the guest of honour of this edition, as part of the celebration of the year of Tunisian-Egyptian culture 2021-2022. Four Egyptian shows will be presented during these days.

Tunisian puppeteer Mohamed Bechir Jalled, a pioneer of this art who contributed to the creation of the puppet theatre movement in Tunisia, will also be honoured alongside the Neapolis Association of Theatre for Children in Nabeul.

The opening ceremony will be marked by a parade of giant puppets that will walk along the Avenue Bourguiba, before heading towards the Avenue Mohamed V that will lead it inside the City of Culture housing, as in each edition, the major part of the JAMC program.

Between puppet making workshops, theater workshops and shows, a symposium will also be held in order to draw up a state of the art of puppet theatre in the Arab world on March 22 at the Translation Institute of Tunis.

Photo: copyrights Webmanager


"Thanks to them"

For International Women's Rights Day, the French Institute of Tunisia and the Center of Sciences in Tunis organise the cultural event "Thanks to Them", in partnership with the French Embassy, the European Union, the French Development Agency, the Institute for Research on Contemporary Maghreb and Sentin'elles.

Debates, conferences, film screenings... This event aims to bear witness to the evolution of the status of women but also to tackle and discuss the contemporary issues that society must now address.

Some meetings not to be missed:

  • the meeting-debate organised in collaboration with the Institute for Research on Contemporary Maghreb in Tunis on the book "As We Exist" by sociologist Kaoutar Harchi;
  • the testimony of artist and choreographer Cyrinn Douss;
  • the conference "Innovative Women in the Digital Age" at the Center of Sciences;
  • the screening of the documentary "Women's Rights" at the French Institute, a road movie meeting underpaid women in the "Care" field.

"Berber heritages of Tunisia: Process of deconstruction and construction of a heritage" by Neila Saadi

The Institute for Research on Contemporary Maghreb organises, on 9 March 2023, a presentation-debate on the book "Berber heritages of Tunisia: Process of deconstruction and construction of a heritage" by Neila Saadi, who is the assistant professor in heritage sciences at the University of Tunis.

The work in French questions the status of the Berber heritage of Tunisia in the heritage policy in Tunisia between 1881 and 2011.

The book is divided into two parts: a first synthesis of the tangible and intangible components of this Berber heritage, and a second one on the actors who contributed to the construction or deconstruction of the process of patrimonialisation of this heritage.


An international centre for calligraphy arts soon in Tunis?

The President of the Republic, Kaïs Saied, recently ordered the creation of an International Centre for the Arts of Calligraphy, which will be built next to the Cultural Center of Chedly Klibi.

The architecture of the building will be inspired by the shape of the Arabic word "Ikraa" (read).

The centre will contribute to the promotion of research, studies, data collection and documentation of Arabic calligraphy, as well as other types of calligraphy.

Photo: copyrights "Le Temps".


Tunisian Song Festival

For this twenty-first edition, taking place from 7 to 12 March at the Cultural Center of Chedly Klibi, the festival welcomes 24 works which will be in competition.

The opening night will be dedicated to the memory of Dhikra Mohamed on the occasion of the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of her death (1966-2003) with the participation of various artists: Heni Chaker, Mohamed Al Helou and Iheb Tawfik (Egypt), Saad Ramadan (Lebanon), Nicolas Saade Nakhla, Cheb Jilani and Khaled Zouaoui (Libya), Saber Rebai, Mohamed Jebali, Yosra Mahnouch, Safa Saad, Ghazi Ayadi , Molka Cherni, Nawel Ghachem, Eya Daghnouj and Olfa Ben Romdhane (Tunisia).

The Festival will also feature a photography exhibition entitled "The Memory of the Festival", retracing the history of the Tunisian Song Festival since 1987, with photographs from the National Archives of Tunisia, the National Library, and the Tunis Africa Press agency.

A symposium on "The music sector in Tunisia" is scheduled for 9 March, coordinated by Anis Meddeb, lecturer in music and musicology at the Higher Institute of Music in Tunis.

The winners of the competition will be decided by the jury chaired by Adnane Chaouachi (musician, composer and singer) and which includes Tahar Guizani (music teacher and composer), Oussema Farhat (author, composer and performer), Mokdad Shili (musician, singer and composer), Alya Belaid (singer), Jlidi Laouini (poet) and Nabil Abdelmoula (musician).

Photo: copyrights AA.


International Human Rights Film Festival

Entitled "Human Screen Festival", the event takes place from 4 to 8 March in Tunis, Tozeur, Gabes, Kasserine, and Mahdia. The annual event aims to promote the values and principles of human rights, encourage artistic creativity and cultural diversity, and raise public awareness of the importance of human rights and social justice.

This year's festival features the screening of 37 films from 16 countries under the theme "Women, Peace and Security", workshops, discussions, concerts, exhibitions, and activities for children.

The jury for the feature film competition is chaired by Tunisian academic Lamia Giga. She will be joined by Tunisian composer Seifeddine Hlel and Indian director Seifeddine Jzib Ali.

The opening night was marked by a performance by young musician Ghassen Ghrissi and the screening of the film "Beirut: Eye of the Strom" by Palestinian director and filmmaker Maï Masri.

The feature films from the MENA region in competition are

  • "The Last Postmen" by Saad El-Essamy (Iraq)
  • "TranStyx" by Moncef Zahrouni (Tunisia)
  • "The Guardians of Margoum" by Akram Moncer (Tunisia)
  • "The Hoop" by Ahmet Toklu (Turkey)
  • "Being A Mother In Prison" by Ogur Atas (Turkey)
  • "Migrants" by Masoud Ahmadi (Iran)
  • "Motherhood In Captive" by Maryam Taher (Iran)
  • "Toxic Hope" by Salim Saad (Lebanon).
Plastic ArtsFestivals

"Imprim'Ness", the first festival celebrating printing and illustration arts in Tunisia

"Imprim'Ness" takes place on 10 and 11 March at the Institut français de Tunisie. This first festival promoting printing and illustration arts in Tunisia will showcase many printing techniques used in North Africa and the Middle East.

Initiated by the art gallery ArtForNess and in collaboration with the French Institute of Tunisia, this first edition will honour the country of papyrus and millenary drawings, Egypt.

The programme includes an exhibition, two training courses, three workshops, a round table and twenty sales stands.

  • Entitled "Solid Members of a Molten Body", the exhibition is a collection of multidisciplinary works ranging from texts and drawings to performance and animation.
  • The round table "Can Artificial Intelligence and Art Peacefully Coexist" is a discussion with artists about their perception of their profession today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
  • The trainings are open to cultural professionals and the workshops will be open to the general public.

"Marjaa: The battle of the hotels" by Mayssa Jallad

Mayssa Jallad's "concept album" combines her two passions: music and architecture. Haunted by the ghosts of Beirut's civil war, the young woman wanted to give voice to the city's iconic buildings, deeply scarred by this period. Written in collaboration with producer Fadi Tabbal, the music is based on Tabbal's spatial approach to sound and Jallad's research into Beirut's hotel district.

The album consists of two parts:

  • Part A: "Dahaliz". It is a walk through the city, during which Mayssa Jallad tries (and fails) to follow an old map of Beirut. Empty skyscrapers propel her into a past filled with sniper violence, and a deceptively glamorous present where the injustice of luxury reigns, dominated by politicians with the blood of war still on their hands. Part B: 'Maaraka'. Mayssa Jallad tells the story of the civil war in different hotels of the city, Holiday Inn, Murr Tower, Hisar, ... 
  • "The idea, for me, was to inhabit the personality of these towers in each song, as a way of remembering the war in order to appreciate peace."

"Women's Views of Women"

On the occasion of Women's Day on 8 March, the Art District gallery dedicates its space in Gemmayze to three female artists who address the representation of femininity in their work. These are the photographers Anna Bondavalli Ward and Nadine Achkar, accompanied by the sculptor Hanan Roz, whose works dialogue between light and matter, geometry and movement. On view from 7 March to 1 April.

Photo: copyrights L'Orient-le-Jour


Beirut International Women Film Festival

The sixth edition of the film festival opened at the Casino du Liban on 5 March with a tribute to the actress Randa Kaady, for five days and evenings of screenings, interviews and debates. Organised by the Beirut Film Society, the event features seventy films from forty countries, including seventeen short films and two Lebanese feature films. The programme is available on the following link:

Israel, Lebanon, Palestine

"Behind the Hebrew, the Arabic: the Palestinian novel in Hebrew (1966-2017)" by Sadia Agsous, published by Classiques Garnier

Through the analysis of the novels of Atallah Mansour (1934-), Anton Shammas (1950-) and Sayed Kashua (1975-), the Franco-Algerian academic, researcher and teacher specializing in Jewish-Arab relations, Sadia Agsous, examines the creation of novels produced in Hebrew by Palestinians since 1966 and the possibilities of neighborhood between Israelis and Palestinians.

The book is divided into five chapters, with a long introduction and - finally - an original conclusion and an appendix that presents a selection of texts translated into French by the main authors analysed.

"The current context, the continuation of colonisation, the right-wingisation of Israeli society mean that there is no longer any room for a Palestinian novel in Hebrew. I don't know if it will disappear completely. But one thing is certain: Palestinian youth are not moving towards writing in Hebrew. In the 1980s, production in Hebrew was flourishing. I'm talking about the generation of Anton Shammas, those Palestinians who acquired bilingualism through their schooling and who invested the cultural field - theatre (Mohammed Bakri), poetry (Naïm Araïdi, Sihem Daoud and Nidaa Khoury) and translation (Mohammed Hamza Ghanayim) - in order to engage in an Arabic-Hebrew dialogue. None of this exists today. Palestinians' relationship with Hebrew has been refocused on the essentials, the problems of everyday life, while artistic production is in Arabic. While the Arabic language has lost its status as an official language (since the Basic Law of 2018), the "Palestinians of 48" seek above all to defend their culture, a minority, within an increasingly overwhelming hegemony." - Sadia Agsous, interview in the newspaper L'Orient-le-Jour.


The Eastern United States Dancesport Championships won by a Lebanese team

Spin 360, a Lebanese dance school specialised in Latin and standard ballroom dances, participated in The Eastern United States Dancesport Championships, held in Boston from 16 to 19 February 2023.

Spin 360 is a school founded in 2013 by Elias Younes, a US-trained Lebanese choreographer. Three of its students won the top prize at the competition: Widad Azar (Bronze), Arij Haidar (Silver), Marie-Claude Bittar (Gold). The school also got the Top Overall Female Student award. Spin 360 was awarded Top Small Studio, and Elias Younes was nominated Top Teacher for the ninth time in a row.

Photo: copyrights Here Beirut.

Saudi Arabia, Lebanon

The May Chidiac Foundation celebrates influential figures in the Arab media industry

The annual awards ceremony was held for the first time in Dubai. The awards were presented by May Chidiac, President of the May Chidiac Foundation, alongside media personalities including Rani Raad, known for his 25 years of leadership at Warner Bros. Discovery, Tunisian businesswoman Ouided Bouchamoui, former CNN Beirut bureau chief Brent Sadler, founder and CEO of the Cairo-based Noor Group Basel Dalloul, director of media representation giant Choueiri Group Pierre Choueiri, Orascom chairman Naguib Sawiris, Lebanese philanthropist Maha Chair, press freedom adviser Mogens Schmidt and Ipsos MENA director Edouard Monin.

Saudi Media and Research Group CEO Jomana al-Rashid received the Media Industry Excellence Award; and Rima Maktabi, Al-Arabiya's UK bureau chief, was also honoured.

The ceremony was a treat for the audience, with performances by Lebanese stars Assi el-Hallani and Maya Diab.

Photo: Jouma al-Rashid, copyrights About Her.

Arab World, Egypt

Cairo International Film Festival to be held from 15 to 24 November 2023

The dates of the forty-fifth edition have been announced. Last year, the festival screened 108 films from 53 countries, of which 30 films were presented for the first time internationally and 57 for the first time in the MENA region.

Photo : copyrights AFP.


SimiHaze Beauty now in the Middle East

Sisters Simi and Haze Khadra, founders of the SimiHaze Beauty label, announced on their Instagram page that their cosmetics line will soon be available in Sephora shops in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.

The twins launched their brand in the US in 2021 with a range of hot stick-on makeup designs, especially since the 'Euphoria' series created by Sam Levinson.

Internationally recognised DJ, they grew up between Riyadh, Dubai and London, and are well-known for their futuristic looks.

Photo: Copyrights Instagram of sisters Simi and Haze Khadra.

Arab World

The Panorama of Maghreb and Middle Eastern Cinema 2023

This new edition takes place from 10 to 21 March between Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis, with screenings accompanied by meetings with the film teams and personalities from the world of cinema. The opening ceremony will feature "The Last Queen", the first feature film by Adila Bendimerad and Damien Ounouri. The festival has selected twenty films, thirteen of which will be previews.

In partnership with the Lebanese Film Festival of France and within the framework of the programme called "Window on Lebanon", four feature films are programmed as previews, in the presence of the filmmakers and numerous guests.

The entire programme can be found on the following link:


A hidden corridor in the Great Pyramid of Cairo

Scientists have discovered a hidden passageway inside the pyramid of Cheops on the Giza plateau. The discovery was made through the ScanPyramids project, an international scientific mission launched in 2015 that studies the interior of pyramids, as part of a collaboration between French, German, Canadian and Japanese universities and several Egyptian experts.

Photo: the pyramid of Cheops, copyrights Libération.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi culture in the spotlight at the new Diriyah theatre

The show "Terhal" is directed by the Kingdom's Ministry of Culture and the international cultural experience design company Dragone. It explores the role of heritage for the Saudi Kingdom and its people through acrobatics which are performed by a cast of sixty Saudi and sixty international artists.

To be seen from 2 to 19 March.

Saudi Arabia

TikTok partners with the Ash-Sharqiya Book Fair in Saudi Arabia

The partnership aims to bring #BookTok, a popular literary trend on the platform, into the real world at the fair, which began on 2 March. In Saudi Arabia alone, TikTok said #BookTok videos have been viewed more than 442 million times in the past six months.

As part of the partnership, TikTok has created a homepage dedicated to content from #BookTok creators who will be participating in the Ash-Sharqiya Book Fair, including author talks, book reviews, literary discussions and information about the event itself.

The fair, which ends on 11 March, is the first of its kind to be held in Ash-Sharqiya province.

United Arab Emirates

Art Dubai launches its 16th edition with around 130 galleries from over 40 countries

The event takes place from 9 to 12 March 2023, and the full programme is available on the following link: 

The fair includes more than 30 new participants, and more than 60% of the galleries' programme is made up of works by artists from the South. Here are some of the artists you will be able to discover:

  • Shahi Dayekh: Lebanese artist, her expressionist paintings use mixed media to translate human emotions and tell the story of our constantly evolving societies.
  • Samar Jashan Satamian : Jordanian and Palestinian artist, she is known for her contemporary portraits which she creates on multiple supports, using acrylic, oil or pastel. She is interested in social behaviour and human relations, always using a colourful palette.
  • Rajaa Sertin : Lebanese artist, she paints series of large-scale landscapes. Her abstract works also reflect her personal evolution over time.
  • Oussama Elolemy: Egyptian photographer, this artist returns to the World Art Dubai with a series of portraits on African and Middle Eastern culture.
  • Atika Kayed : Emirati artist, she paints landscapes and portraits with oil and acrylic. Passionate about Arabic calligraphy, she integrates it in her art, whatever the medium she uses.
  • Younès Lassouli: the Moroccan painter will present his installation, "Moroccan Legends", consisting of seven paintings of various well-known Moroccan personalities.
  • Ibrahim El-Dessouki: born in Cairo to painter parents, he tells the story of everyday Egyptian life in his paintings. His paintings are recognisable by their plain background and their graceful silhouettes.

Photo : copyrights WAM.


"What Palestine brings to the world"

The next exhibition at the Arab World Institute will open on 16 May, putting Palestine in the spotlight. On the initiative of Elias Sanbar - writer, former Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO and chairman of the board of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Palestine - and in collaboration with the artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest, some four hundred works will be exhibited at the IMA to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nakba. This collection is made up entirely of donations from artists.

"Living in Palestine or outside Palestine, Palestinian artists are exceptional and we want to put them under the spotlight. The Palestinian people have talent, energy, creativity and hope." - Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute.

Consisting of two modern and contemporary collections, one from the National Museum of Palestine and the other from the IMA museum, the event will also feature the Cloud Museum, a virtual project by a group of artists composed of visual artists and inhabitants of Gaza. Finally, a last chapter of the exhibition will be devoted to photography. It will parallel old and contemporary orientalist photographs with a set of images by contemporary Palestinian artists. It will thus show Palestine from the Orientalist perspective, that of a prefabricated country, and a second Palestine, full of irony and self-mockery.

"The comparison of photographs representing a completely fantasized, mythologized and orientalist land that reproduces clichés of Palestine with photographs by women and men artists from Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the diaspora (...) offers a rather new, alternative and very different image of what we can see of Palestine." - Marion Slitine, art anthropologist and co-curator of the exhibition.

United Arab Emirates

A classic film museum in Abu Dhabi

The project was announced by the UAE cultural ambassador to the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation, and is part of the cultural programme supported by Anassi Media and the Arab World Institute in Paris.

Photo: the launch of this museum took place at the Arab World Institute in Paris. Copyrights Arab News.


Princess Imane of Jordan's wedding date now public

Princess Imane is the eldest daughter of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania al-Abdullah of Jordan, while her fiancé, Jameel Alexander Thermiotis, is a managing partner of a New York-based venture capital fund.

The wedding is scheduled for this Sunday 12 March.

Photo: copyright Arab News.

Cultural Projects
United Arab Emirates

Jameel Arts and Health Lab

Following an agreement between the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Steinhardt School of New York University, Community Jameel and Culturunners, the Jameel Arts and Health Lab was launched in New York on 27 February. It is the first major arts and health initiative in the history of the WHO.

The aim of the centre is to coordinate and encourage scientific research into the role of the arts in improving health and well-being. The centre's initial research will focus on the effects of music on mothers with postnatal depression and the impact of the arts in dementia care.

"In my own journey as an artist and curator working in the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11, I have witnessed the healing power of art, particularly as a bridge between communities and across psychological and ideological boundaries" - Culturunners founder Stephen Stapleton for the online media outlet Arab News.

Photo: The Jameel Arts & Health Lab was launched at the National Arts Club in New York. Copyrights Al Arabiya.


Bella Hadid is the new face of Charlotte Tilbury

The British cosmetics brand collaborates with the Dutch-American Palestinian model Bella Hadid. The announcement was made on both the brand's and the model's pages.

Photo: Charlotte Tilbury and Bella Hadid, copyrights Instagram.

Saudi Arabia

Sotheby's offers a series of lectures at the Jeddah Biennale of Islamic Art

Four conferences will be held from 4 to 13 March, all led by experts from the auction house, which is also a partner of the biennial. The topics are intended to be open, and will include the influence of Islamic art on the modern jewellery industry and contemporary Arab art. Alexandra Roy, Sotheby's Head of 20th Century Art and Middle East Sales, will also take the floor to share her experience as a specialist, notably on the importance of the provenance of pieces.

Photo : Alexandra Roy, copyrights Sotheby’s.

Egypt, Qatar

The new Adidas campaign

Egyptian football icon Mohamed Salah collaborates with Adidas for its new campaign, alongside athletes Mariam Farid (Qatar) and Khadija Hegazy (Egypt), who are known for competing in the hijab.

Adidas wants to support its athletes and change the general public's perception, especially in the West, regarding women's choice of wearing a hijab while competing or simply doing sport.

"I want to inspire a young generation of women like me to get into sport and show the world what we can do." - Mariam Farid.


A new sphinx discovered in Egypt

A smiling limestone sphinx depicting a Roman emperor has been found near the Temple of Hathor, 500km south of Cairo. It was found near a Roman stele engraved in demotic and hieroglyphic.

Egypt has revealed several major finds in recent months, mainly in the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo.

Photo: copyrights Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Plastic ArtsExhibitions
Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine

« Do Arabs Dream of Electric Sheep »

The new collective exhibition at ICD Brookfield Place in Dubai ironically questions what the Arab future would look like through five works ranging from installations to iconographies and textile compositions. The name of the exhibition is directly inspired by Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", better known by its new title "Blade Runner".

The exhibition features Lebanese illustrator Tracy Chahwan who presents "Resembling Resilience", a series of covers in which she uses traditional codes and symbols to reinvent an Arab future far from Western stereotypes which too often associate the Arab world with misery and disaster.

Then there is the installation by Algerian artist Walid Bouchouchi, entitled "Fono-type", which introduces 45 posters, each displaying a letter. The installation evokes a post-independence Algeria where three main languages are mixed - Arabic, Tamazight and French -, therefore shaping a diverse & open post-colonial nation-state.

The works of Meriem Bennani (Morocco), Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (Palestine) can also be discovered.

Photo: "Typo-Fono" by Walid Bouchouchi, copyrights The National.

Arab World, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria

Arab Women Artists Now 2023

The film festival gives women directors and artists a chance to shine at Rich Mix London this month. Discover the program on the following link:

Some artists to follow:

  • Fadia Ahmad: award-winning Spanish-Lebanese photographer and director Fadia Ahmad captures Africa, the Middle East and Asia through her lens. Her multi-awarded documentary "Beirut, The Aftermath" analyses the double explosion of the port of Beirut, bringing together post-disaster images of the city and testimonies from residents from different social backgrounds. The film did the opening of the AWAN festival on 2 March.
  • Soudade Kaadan: the Syrian director will answer questions from the audience after the screening of her film "Nezouh", which tells the story of a family left behind in besieged Damascus.
  • The Station: this independent platform from Baghdad supports young entrepreneurs and artists. The platform collaborates with the AWAN festival on a project which provides an annual mentoring programme for five artists from Iraq and five Arab artists based in the UK. At the festival, these artists will display their work and share their journey. The artists in question are the following: Alaa Alsraji, Sally Souraya, Farida Eltigi, DJ Luma, Lara Kobeissi, Yusur Mokdad, Niga Salam, Mena Hadad, Yusur Mokdad and Raz Kamaran.
  • Hawazin Alotaibi: Saudi-American artist, she exhibits her latest paintings at Rich Mix London during the time of the festival. Identity and time fleeing are key elements to understand her work. She is also a DJ and a music producer.

Photo: painting from the series "Fingerprints of a Lover" by Hawazin Alotaibi.

Cultural Projects
Arab World

V&A unveils the first Ramadan pavilion representing the history of British Muslims

The Victoria & Albert Museum pays tribute to the Muslim community for the month of Ramadan, with a pavilion open until 1 May. It is an immersive experience for visitors who want to learn more about the customs and traditions associated with the holy month. The pavilion will host several events as well as two iftars.

The pavilion's mosque-like architecture was designed by Shahd Saleem, an architect, writer and lecturer at the School of Architecture of the University of Westminster.

Photo: Architect Shahed Saleem in the V&A pavilion. Copyrights The National.

United Arab Emirates

Sharjah gets four new inscriptions on Unesco's 'provisional' World Heritage List

The sites include the ancient trading city of Mleiha, and the Faya region located in central Sharjah. The sites of Wadi Helo, an important mining basin, and various places with rock art - such as Kalba and Khor Fakkan - are also on the provisional list.

Photo: Wadi Helo, copyrights The National.

Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Oman

The International Prize for Arab Fiction unveils 2023 shortlist

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) has announced the 2023 shortlist, which presents five novels. The final laureate will win $50,000 with the commitment that IPAF will cover the cost of translating her/his novel into English to help finance its publication for an English-speaking readership.

The selection was done by a panel of five judges, chaired by Moroccan writer and novelist Mohammed Achaari along with:

  • Egyptian academic and novelist Reem Bassiouney ,
  • Algerian novelist, researcher and journalist Fadhila El Farouk,
  • Swedish university professor and translator Tetz Rooke
  • Omani writer and academic Aziza al-Ta'I.

The list of books selected from one hundred and twenty-four entries is as follows:

  • "Drought" by Al-Sadiq Haj Ahmed (Algeria)
  • "Concerto Qurina Eduardo" by Najwa Binshatwan (Libya)
  • "The Stone of Happiness" by Azhar Jerjis (Iraq)
  • "Days of the Shining Sun" by Miral al-Tahawy (Egypt)
  • "The Exile of the Water Diviner" by Zahran Alqasmi (Oman).
  • "The Highest Part of the Horizon" by Fatima Abdulhamid (Saudi Arabia)

This prestigious literary prize aims to reward excellence in contemporary Arab creative writing and to promote Arab literature internationally.


Morocco-based artist and cultural activist Laila Hida is the first winner of the Recanati-Kaplan Prize

This prize is designed to support artistic and intellectual exchanges between the United States, France and the Arab world by rewarding one winner each year for his or her career and residency project. It is endowed with $15,000 in addition to the organisation of a two-month residency in the United States.

The jury for the call was composed of Antoine Artiganave, representative of the Recanati-Kaplan Foundation, Gaëtan Bruel, director of the Villa Albertine, Jack Lang, president of the Arab World Institute, Frédérique Mehdi, director of cultural actions at the Arab World Institute, and Mouna Mekouar, independent curator and art critic.

Laila Hida is a French-Moroccan artist based in Marrakech where she founded the multidisciplinary space, LE 18, in 2013. This collective space brings together artists, curators and researchers around meetings, exhibitions, workshops and residencies around various axes, in particular, image and representations, commonalities, orality, while questioning the modalities of mediation and curation.

Laila Hida's work explores, from intimate spaces and narratives, the place of the individual in a society in the grip of its mutations. She questions the projections and frictions of desires, ideas and concepts between the local and the regional, through curation, editing, installation and photography projects.

Her residency project, "The Journey of the Phoenix", questions the fabrication of imagination, starting with the representation of the oasis and its mythification in colonial travel literature and 19th century cinema. After initial research in Morocco as well as on the French Riviera in Nice, Laila Hida will then continue her research in Los Angeles this autumn to study the landscape and the history of imported palm trees. She intends to examine the conception of a city which is inspired by the notion of exoticism.

To know more about the artist:

Arab World, Algeria

« Rai is not dead »

DJ Hadj Sameer, collector and digger, looks back at the history of rai in a new series "Raï is not dead", broadcast on the French-German TV channel Arte, which is also directed with Simon Maisonobe and Grégoire Belhoste. The six-episode TV series follows Hadj Sameer, whose goal is to make a mixtape with the most iconic rai tracks. From Paris to Algiers, from Raina rai's electrifying "Ya Zina" to Cheb Khaled's iconic "Didi", the series "Rai is not dead" tells the story of the birth and global rise of rai, while focusing on the strong figures of this musical genre, and in particular the female ones (e.g., Chaba Fadela, Sheikha Rabia, ...)

The series can be seen on Arte:


"Iwaryan" by Amar Amarni

Amar Amarni, a musician from a small village near Tizi Ouzou, releases his album "Iwaryan", which mixes traditional rhythms and modern melodies, combining different musical genres such as chaâbi, gnaoui, country, desert blues, ...

The name of the album, "Iwaryan", recalls the technique of hunting birds with wooden rods. The name given to the album is a metaphor, encouraging the listener to catch the moment and enjoy it fully.

Amar Amarni will be performing in Paris on 17 March and in Montreal on 20 May.


"Hawanem", Britt Boutros Ghali's exhibition pays tribute to Egyptian women

The exhibition opens in Cairo from 10 to 12 March, on the occasion of International Women's Rights Day. Norwegian-born artist Britt Boutros Ghali offers a retrospective of her work over twenty years, through her painting series "Women of My World", which recalls the artist's fascination with Egypt and its culture.

Britt Boutros Ghali's expressionist and abstract paintings have been exhibited around the world, including in Norway, Holland, the Czech Republic and France. She was also awarded the title of Knight of the Royal Order of St. Olav in 1996 for her services to art.

Photo: "Women of My World" series, copyright Egypt Today.

Arab World, Egypt

Aswan International Women's Film Festival

The sixth edition of the festival takes place from 5 to 10 March 2023.
Sixty feature films, shorts, animation and documentaries from different countries including Egypt, Algeria, France, Switzerland, Argentina, South Korea, Bulgaria and Latvia participate in the different competitions.

Festival activities include symposia, conferences and filmmaking workshops for young people in Aswan. The Egyptian short film "Sara's Birthday", produced by Plan International Egypt and the National Council for Women, directed by Yasser Shafiey, was screened for the opening of the festival.

The event's Instagram page allows you to follow its news more closely:

Photo: opening Ceremony of the Seventh Edition with Spanish actress Cuca Escribano, and Egyptian director Magdi Ahmed Ali.


Ashraf Zaki wins the elections of the Actors' Union

Egyptian actor Ashraf Zaki has been elected head of the Actors' Union. He was opposed to Helmy Fouda and Ahmed El Sayed.
Liban, Oman

"Al Manyour" awarded at Tyre International Film Festival

Mohammad Al Ajmi's documentary was in competition with 29 other films at the Tyre International Film Festival, which took place in Lebanon from 4 to 6 March. "Al Manyour" had won the award for best Omani film at the Al Sharqiyah 2023 Festival.

The film focused on the method of extracting fresh water from underground wells in the coastal areas of Oman. As water remains a scarce resource in the country, this ancient practice is still used today.

"Presenting this film at this festival is an opportunity to showcase our cultural heritage." - Mohammad Al Ajmi.

The competition hosted eighteen countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Photo: copyrights Oman Observer.

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuweit, Oman

Hassiba Benbouali University in Chlef hosts an international forum on archaeological writing and Arabic calligraphy

The event will be held on 17 and 18 May, with several researchers and academics from Algeria and the Arab world, such as Dr. Youssef bin Saeed bin Najim Al-Kabsi (Sultanate of Oman) and Dr. The Awareness of the Unworthiness of Al-Ardi, and Dr. Anmar Hassan Mudhan Al-Arab (Oman). Anmar Hassan Mudhan Al-Marasmeh (Iraq) and Dr. Al-Zahraa, Mourad Musa Ismail (Egypt) and Dr. Awatef Mansour (University of Manouba / Tunisia), and Dr. Amine Mohamedou (Mauritania), and Dr. Yahya Muhammad Amin Mir Alam (Kuwait), and Dr. Musallam Rashid Al Rawahneh (Jordan).


Plastic ArtsExhibitions
Jordan, Oman, Syria

Jordan National Gallery to host solo exhibition of Lebanese artist Sayegh

Under the patronage of HRH Princess Ghida Talal, the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts organises a solo exhibition of Lebanese artist Samir Sayegh in collaboration with the Jordanian Lebanese Association, and a group exhibition featuring Lebanese artworks from the Jordan National Gallery's Permanent Collection.

In addition of being a writer and a poet, he is above all a great calligrapher, making his own brushes to draw his broad lines of ink and acrylic.

A group exhibition of pioneering and contemporary Lebanese artists accompanies this solo exhibition by Samir Sayegh who currently lives and works in Beirut.

The exhibition features works by Paul Guiragossian, Afaf Zurayk, Etel Adnan, Wajih Nahleh, Amin Elbacha, Hussein Madi, Saliba Douaihy, Sami Makarem, Rafiq Sharaf, Annie Kurdjian, Aref Rayes, Chafic Abboud, Chaouki Chaoukini, Fadia Ahmad, Ghada Jamal, Emmanuel Guiragossian, Charles Khoury, Hassan Jouni, Hrair, Helen Khal, Juliana Seraphime, May Abboud, Nizar Daher, Asaad Arabi and Simone Fattal.

Photo: "Ya2 Alef", 2014 by Samir Sayegh.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Oman

Prince of Poets

The Abu Dhabi TV talent show "Prince of Poets" now has five finalists from Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Senegal. Omani poet Aisha Al-Saifi received the highest score in this final qualifying round. The grand final will be decided in the coming days.


"Sheikh Al Tanweer" (Sheikh of Lights) wins best director award at HALO International Film Festival

The film, produced by Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research, wins the best director award at the HALO International Film Festival, held in St. Petersburg.



Departure of Sherifa Fadel

The Egyptian actress died at the age of 85.


Plastic ArtsExhibitions

Berlin: "Beirut and the Golden Sixties" at the Martin-Gropius-Bau

The exhibition "Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A manifesto of fragility" is held from 25 March to 12 June in the former Museum of Decorative Arts in the German capital, the Martin-Gropius-Bau.

Press release: "The exhibition traces a brief but rich period of artistic and political ferment. A steady flow of intellectuals and cultural practitioners from the Middle East and Arabic-speaking North Africa flocked to Beirut during three turbulent decades marked by revolutions, coups and wars in all regions. Encouraged in part by Lebanon's 1956 bank secrecy law, a flow of foreign capital has also poured into the city. New commercial galleries, independent art spaces and museums flourished. Beirut was bursting at the seams, not only with people, but with ideas. Yet beneath the surface of a glittering golden age of prosperity, antagonisms festered before exploding into a 15-year civil war."

With works by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Shafic Abboud, Etel Adnan, Farid Aouad, Dia al-Azzawi, Alfred Basbous, Joseph Basbous, Michel Basbous, Assadour Bezdikian, Huguette Caland, Rafic Charaf, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Georges Doche, Simone Fattal, Laure Ghorayeb, Paul Guiragossian , Farid Haddad, John Hadidian, Joana Hadjithomas, Jumana Bayazid El-Husseini, Khalil Joreige, Dorothy Salhab Kazemi, Helen El-Khal, Simone Baltaxé Martayan, Jamil Molaeb, Fateh al-Moudarres, Nicolas Moufarrege, Mehdi Moutashar, Aref El Rayess, Adel al-Saghir, Mahmoud Said, Nadia Saikali, Hashim Samarchi, Mona Saudi, Juliana Seraphim, Cici Sursock and Khalil Zgaib

Photo: exhibition view. Copyrights Gropius Bau, Luca Girardini.

Arab World, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine

Arabofolies Festival

On the occasion of the exhibition "Habibi, the revolutions of love", this new edition of the Arab World Institute's music festival celebrates romance, passion and love from 9 to 18 March.

The festival offers a very eclectic programme, based on emotions and feelings, with Rasha Nahas (Palestine), Yelli Yelli, Naïma Yahi, Oum (Morocco) and Mous Bahri (Lebanon).

Find out about the full programme on

Lebanon, Kuwait

MBC Shahid platform shut down series on Kuwait Flight 422 hijacking

The first episode of the series "Al Jabriya: Flight 422", which talks about the hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 422 in 1988, was removed from the online streaming platform MBC Shahid after provoking an outcry and legal action from the Kuwaiti government.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information said it appreciated MBC's response to its request to cancel the series, which was considered as "an insult to the symbols of Kuwait and its citizens".

"Al Jabriya: Flight 422" featured Kuwaiti and Lebanese actors Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Khaled Amin, Ibrahim Al Harbi, Mohammed Al Ajimi and Faisal Al Amiri.

Photo: copyright Getty Images.


Switzerland returns 3,000-year-old artefacts to Iraq

The artefacts included two bronze daggers and two spearheads dating back to 1000 BC, as well as 20 ancient coins from the Abbasid caliphate.


Death of Samia Sassi

The Tunisian poetess died of cancer.


Arab Writers Union launches As-Suwayda Prize for Literary Creativity

The award will honour a Syrian writer of a different literary genre each year, starting with poetry in 2023. Applications are open until 1 July.

Recent Journals

28 - 12 - 23

"عيب" by Sarah Bahbah Sarah Bahbah is a Palestinian Jordanian artist and director born and raised in Australia. Raised by Immigrant parents, her culturally conservative upbringing led to a great rebellion of Art. Over the past decade Bahbah has become renowned for her signature style, giving birth to visually striking, culture-shifting stories that combine her most intimate psyche appearing as subtitles placed over cinematic stills. Bahbah’s art explores the power of vulnerability by way of giving voice to the vast spectrum of chaos and desire in imperfect relationships. She believes in embracing emotional vulnerability to break taboos and celebrate the liberation of guilt and shame. In 2020 Bahbah released her most impactful series yet titled “3ieb!” in Arabic / “Shame On Me!” in English; a series where she provocatively posed in front of the camera for the first time, expressing her desire for sexual liberation from her cultural restrictions. The subtitles appeared in both English and Arabic calligraphy which caused an uproar within the MENA community, while simultaenously giving voice to many women who held the same desire. Bahbah’s work has been featured in countless publications including New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider, The Cut, Vogue US, Hollywood Reporter, Vice and many more. In 2023 Bahbah released her first ever luxury fine art book, "Dear Love".

21 - 12 - 23

"I'm 33 and I've never been on a plane" It took five years for Abdel Rahman Zagout, a Gazan photographer, to complete a project on the Egyptian border with Gaza, which won the 2018 Red Cross photography competition. This photograph is part of the project, portraying a young Palestinian at the border, his hands open in front of a closed window. Abdel Rahman Zagout graduated in media at Al-Aqsa University and graduated in 2008. He worked for ten years as a freelance photojournalist and photography consultant. His project recounts the hopes and dreams of Palestinians, shattered by poverty and fences. Most of the photos were taken at the Rafah crossing, which links Gaza to Egypt. It is considered to be the main exit from Gaza, and is only opened sporadically.

14 - 12 - 23

@dyaladesigns "As cliché as it may sound, I've always been creative. Somehow I always knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I've never been that passionate about anything other than art and design, so why would I spend my life doing something I didn't really love? It's my passion and I intend to use my creativity to make a difference in this world." "As a Palestinian artist, I definitely feel a responsibility to use my platform to highlight the ongoing conflicts and express my emotions about them in a beautiful way. Art is my passion, and my country is my passion, so combining these two aspects of my life is something that excites and motivates me. My work is a reflection of who I am, and I think it's important to represent people who feel that their voices aren't always heard. I want people to look at my work and see the beauty and relevance of who they are and where they come from. I feel it's our global duty to show our support and unite in times of need. I feel that my work highlights the importance of acceptance and inclusion. Given the world we live in today, where people are bombarded by an unrealistic digital society, my art plays a role in breaking down those boundaries and redefining those expectations." Dyala Moshtaha

07 - 12 - 23

"I will continue to draw until Palestine is free. I will continue to draw the Palestinian flag everywhere in the streets of Egypt." - Mohamed Moataz Mohamed Moataz a décoré l'un des plus anciens quartiers du Caire, Al-Khalifa, qui est par ailleurs inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO depuis 1979. Il s'agit de quatre peintures murales qui dénoncent l'horreur du génocide de Gaza. Mohamed Moataz a décoré l'un des plus anciens quartiers du Caire, Al-Khalifa, qui est par ailleurs inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO depuis 1979. Il s'agit de quatre peintures murales qui dénoncent l'horreur du génocide de Gaza. Mohamed Moataz's career as a street artist began on the streets of the Egyptian capital with works celebrating Arab heritage, featuring iconic figures such as football star Mohamed Salah and the Star of the Orient, Umm Kulthum. However, current events soon caught up with him, and in recent months he has focused exclusively on the genocide perpetrated by the State of Israel in Gaza.

30 - 11 - 23

Gaza, Humanitarian truce, 28 November 2023. Mohammed Salem is a Palestinian photojournalist based in the Gaza Strip. He holds a degree in media studies from Al-Azhar University in Gaza. Mohammed has worked with Reuters since 2003, mainly covering the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. He received the Dubai Press Club Media Award, won the International Press Photo Competition in China in 2004 and was awarded second prize in Spot News at the World Press Photo Competition in 2010. His latest photos of the Gaza Strip in October 2023 have been selected by Reuters as one of the "best press photographs of 2023". "A picture should not be taken just with the eye; it should have a meaning in the heart" - Mohammed Salem.

23 - 11 - 23

"A boy eating watermelon", Adam Rouhana “There are a number of things that come to mind when I look at this image and, honestly, it’s about the boy… It’s sort of like he’s making love to the watermelon, right? That is what it looks like. So, it’s this idea, I guess, of a passion for the land and his own relationship with the land. You can see he’s in this kind of olive grove and the earth is around him." N.B. The watermelon is a symbol of Palestine. Adam Rouhana is a young Palestinian photographer who graduated from Oxford. He grew up in Boston. Each year, he returns to his homeland with his camera, and focuses on Palestinian youth, which represents half the population. A soldier, a fence, a football pitch, but also laughter, somersaults on the beach and back to school moments. The young photographer, who plans his first exhibition with curators Zainab Hasoon and Sara bin Safwan at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, captures these everyday infrastructures, characters and emotions of Palestine. He claims the "permission to narrate" developed by Edward Saïd - in other words, the commitment to sharing an individual rather than a collective story, not dictated by an oppressive regime or locked into a given prism such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Adam Rouhana therefore offers new perspectives and new narratives of Palestine. ‘Instead of reproducing the representations of occupied Palestine that are so ubiquitous and so obvious, I was able to capture the quieter moments and try to work to create new representations of Palestine’ – Adam Rouhana

09 - 11 - 23

"Climbing walls", Khaled Hourani Born in Hebron, he is an artist, writer, commentator, curator, and a critical voice in Palestine. Operating within a socially and politically constrained system, Hourani conveys his awareness of the nuances and vagaries that permeate different aspects of social encounters in Palestine. In his pivotal 2011 project ‘Picasso in Palestine’, Hourani borrowed Picasso’s ‘Buste de Femme’ from the Van Abbemuseum in The Netherlands, to display it in Ramallah. The symbol was powerful knowing the piece was painted during WW2. What was already an unusual lending process turned into a political quagmire considering that Palestine was not - and still isn’t - internationally recognised as a state, therefore making it impossible to insure the piece. The painting had to be militarily guarded: no insurance company took the risk. Picasso’s painting was exhibited in a specific room, always with two guards. This photograph was taken at the time, and has since been exhibited multiple times, also under surveillance. A mise en abyme revealing the complexity and constant struggle of a life under occupation.

30 - 11 - 23

"Kiss of Freedom", Rami Kanso Rami Kanso is a Lebanese-Slovak graphic designer, motion designer and visual artist based in Doha. He currently works for Alaraby TV. Rami combines his work in broadcasting with his passion for creative animation. He was head of visuals for the West End music production "Umm Kulthum: The Golden Era", which premiered at the London Palladium in March 2020. He also co-produced and co-directed a series of award-winning poetry videos with his wife, Dana Dajani. In October 2019, Rami's drawing for the Lebanese revolution became a viral icon of the resistance movement. His art blends calligraphy, collage, texture work, typography and symbolism to express contemporary Arab identity.

26 - 10 - 23

"Women sleeping" by Malak Mattar "Being a feminist is not about hating men; it's about believing that men and women don't have to compete with each other, but that they complement each other. This harmony can exist between two genders when there is equality and recognition of each other's roles and abilities, without degrading anyone's status." Malak Matar was born in 1999 in the Gaza Strip. She started painting in 2014 to escape the aggression and violence she and her family experienced daily while living in the Gaza Strip. Her first solo exhibition, which she organised a year later at the age of fifteen, enabled her to forge links with international journalists and gain recognition for her work on social networks. After winning the distinction of best high school student in the Gaza Strip (and second best in the whole of Palestine), Malak Matar left Gaza in 2017 to study political science in Turkey. She is publishing a bilingual Arabic-English children's book, "Grandma's Bird", about the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with writings and drawings that describe her own experience.

19 - 10 - 23

"Palest*n*ans: a story of displacement and pain. For decades, the world has been a silent witness to their displacement, the bombing of their refuge and the loss of loved ones. Today, with no access to food, water or medicine, they are faced with the agonising decision to leave the land they hold dear, with the uncertainty of their return, or quite simply, to die. Their story is part of the wider story of refugees around the world. The location of this work has not been added to avoid the shadowbanning I have faced in recent days." - statement by Egyptian visual artist and graphic designer Hassan Ragab, about the tragedy that Gaza goes through today, in front of everyone's eyes. The word 'Palestinians' has had several letters removed to avoid the censorship currently rampant on social networks. Hassan Ragab was trained as an architect and now lives in Southern California. Between design, furniture renovation, installations and graphic design, he participates in the development of digital art and in particular the use of Artificial Intelligence in this field.