Creatives

Kingdom of Art

Kingdom of Art

In less than a decade, Saudi Arabia has emerged as one of the world's fastest-growing centers of contemporary art. Both for Saudi artists and international creatives invited to exhibit, install, screen, teach and produce, more than 100 new events sponsored by more than two dozen new arts organizations now offer opportunities across the country. Artists such as Dana Awartani, whose neoclassically symmetrical installation "Where the Dwellers Lay" (above) nestled at the outdoor exhibition Desert X AlUla 2022, and dozens of others are showing at recently opened, large-scale venues, including Riyadh's JAX District, Jiddah's Hayy Jameel cultural center and Red Sea Film Festival, and Dhahran's cultural center, Ithra.
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FirstLook: Deep Descent

FirstLook: Deep Descent

In 2011 I moved to the United Arab Emirates. and I joined a group of cave explorers. After Several weeks of training, we traveled to Oman's Eastern Hajar Mountains, some 150 kilometers south of the capital, Muscat.
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New Screens in Arab Cinema

New Screens in Arab Cinema

Since the 1970s, independent filmmakers have been a rare breed throughout the Arabic-speaking world. But as a rising number of film festivals and streaming platforms open, opportunities for both artistic expression and viewing experiences are growing faster than ever.
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Cheikha Remitti, Queen Mother of Rai

Cheikha Remitti, Queen Mother of Rai

Born in a village in northwest Algeria, Cheika Remitti sang high-energy songs of love, loss and society that pioneered rai music. Beloved by fans for more than 60 years until her death in 2006, her influence and popularity endure.
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Art of Islamic Patterns: Rüstem Pasha Rosette

Art of Islamic Patterns: Rüstem Pasha Rosette

Originally designed for tiles adorning the mosque in Istanbul commissioned in the 16th century by Ottoman Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha, this 12-fold rosette combines geometry with plant and flower motifs to achieve a centrifugal, undulating, harmonious composition.
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Arab American Journeys in Film: A Conversation with Waleed F. Mahdi

Arab American Journeys in Film: A Conversation with Waleed F. Mahdi

“What does it mean to develop a complex sense of Arab American identity in film?” asks Waleed F. Mahdi, whose comparative and detailed analysis of three motion picture industries—Hollywood, Egyptian and Arab American—searches for an answer to that question.
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Art of Islamic Patterns: Mughal Jaali

Art of Islamic Patterns: Mughal Jaali

Decorative and functional, lattice screens have been produced in countless geometric forms across Islamic lands over centuries. In New Delhi one such screen, there called a jaali, offers mesmerizing interplays of 6- and 12-sided figures. Originally crafted in the 16th century, it can be drawn today by following our step-by-step guide.

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Berlin’s Transcultural Jam

Berlin’s Transcultural Jam

A musical wave has been swelling for a decade in the German capital, which one local analyst now calls “the city of choice for a new generation of cultural talent from the Middle East and North Africa”—part of the greater demographic shift that has made people of Arab backgrounds Berlin’s fourth-largest ethnic-identity group. In street jams, clubs, studios, concert halls and online, new mixes of musicians are blending notes and ideas into genre-bending, transcultural fusions. “What we as artists in Berlin can do is tear down the borders in our head and invite others to do the same,” says musician Jamila Al-Yousef.

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Reviving the Art of Tunisian Glass

Reviving the Art of Tunisian Glass

In the mid-1980s, Sadika Keskes fired up the first artisanal glass furnaces in Tunisia in 600 years. Since then she has revived a once-thriving heritage craft and, through her teaching, lit up imaginations among a new generation of artisans.
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