Posts tagged Middle East

The Arabs’ scientific vision

Winds of change blow through research centres and universities operating in the Middle East.

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(Image Credit: Northwestern University in Qatar Photo Gallery)

The Canon of Medicine by Ibn Sina (Avicenna in Latin), the studies on algebra and arithmetic of Al-Khwārizmī (Algoritmi), the Book of Optics by Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen): these are just a few examples of Middle Eastern literature from the past that testify the outstanding contribution of Islamic intellect to modern science. However, statistics on the scientific impact of today’s Arab world portray a starkly different picture, with universities and research centres from these countries lagging well behind their Eastern Asiatic and Western counterparts1, 2. The output of publications from the entire Middle Eastern region in 2012 amounts to less than one quarter of that of the US1, and only three universities (two from Israel and one from Turkey) are listed in the top 200 institutions in teaching and research worldwide. Yet, an awakened community is now eager to trigger a scientific rebirth in this area.

The creation of scientific hubs able to both play a relevant role in the international community and involve an increasing number of Arab students in research may catalyse the change needed in the Middle East. Certainly, it will be interesting to observe the effects of these efforts on the scientific productivity of the next few years. In the long term, one only hopes that the exposure of young generations to a multicultural, curiosity-driven research environment will spark a new scientific golden age in the region.

ALWAN AL HAIA 
“[Say: “Our life is] the color of Allah! And who can color better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.” Al Baqarah 2:138
Painting by Dana Awartani, a half-Palestinian half-Saudi Arabian artist born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Through research and her own practice Dana was particularly drawn to the perennial philosophy to which geometry and all of the traditional arts subscribe. She found geometry to be representative of a timeless language of aesthetics which, through its mathematical and visually democratic origin represents a universal language of beauty and harmony; in essence, geometry is the perfect reflection of God’s infinity and manifestation on earth as found in nature and His creation. Geometry therefore combines artistic creativity with an inherent logical system informed by Divine principles.
Read an interview with her here. 
(Colours of LIfe: Shell gold & natural pigments on prepared paper 28.5 x 28.5 cm) 

ALWAN AL HAIA

“[Say: “Our life is] the color of Allah! And who can color better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.” Al Baqarah 2:138

Painting by Dana Awartani, a half-Palestinian half-Saudi Arabian artist born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Through research and her own practice Dana was particularly drawn to the perennial philosophy to which geometry and all of the traditional arts subscribe. She found geometry to be representative of a timeless language of aesthetics which, through its mathematical and visually democratic origin represents a universal language of beauty and harmony; in essence, geometry is the perfect reflection of God’s infinity and manifestation on earth as found in nature and His creation. Geometry therefore combines artistic creativity with an inherent logical system informed by Divine principles.

Read an interview with her here

(Colours of LIfe: Shell gold & natural pigments on prepared paper 28.5 x 28.5 cm) 

Sharing the pain: Improving healthcare in warzones
Researchers suggest a regional approach to the problem of national healthcare systems strained by conflict in the Middle East.

Sharing the pain: Improving healthcare in warzones

Researchers suggest a regional approach to the problem of national healthcare systems strained by conflict in the Middle East.

Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East
A quiet revolution has begun to emerge in the Middle East, one that might ultimately do more to change the face of the region:
TECH-BASED ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Christopher M. Schroeder, a seasoned U.S. internet executive and venture investor travelled to Dubai, Cairo, Amman, Beirut, Istanbul and Damascus and met thousands of talented, successful, and intrepid young entrepreneurs willing to take on political, cultural, legal and societal challenges.
Equally important, Schroeder saw major regional and international private equity firms, venture capitalists and global tech players like Google, Intel, Cisco, Yahoo, LinkedIn and PayPal making significant investments, despite the uncertainty in the region. He marries his own observations with the predictions of these giants to offer a surprising and timely look at the second stealth revolution in the Middle East — one that promises to reinvent it as a center of innovation and economic opportunity.

Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East

A quiet revolution has begun to emerge in the Middle East, one that might ultimately do more to change the face of the region:

TECH-BASED ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Christopher M. Schroeder, a seasoned U.S. internet executive and venture investor travelled to Dubai, Cairo, Amman, Beirut, Istanbul and Damascus and met thousands of talented, successful, and intrepid young entrepreneurs willing to take on political, cultural, legal and societal challenges.

Equally important, Schroeder saw major regional and international private equity firms, venture capitalists and global tech players like Google, Intel, Cisco, Yahoo, LinkedIn and PayPal making significant investments, despite the uncertainty in the region. He marries his own observations with the predictions of these giants to offer a surprising and timely look at the second stealth revolution in the Middle East — one that promises to reinvent it as a center of innovation and economic opportunity.

Rhizoma (Generation in Waiting) at the Venice Art Biennale 2013
RHIZOMA draws its inspiration from a younger generation of Saudi artists and embraces visual art alongside technology, science and natural philosophy.
"Rhizoma (generation in waiting) is a curatorial project inspired by the multidisciplinary arts practices of 26 young artists, collectives and foundations from Saudi Arabia. This new and exciting scene is comparable to an actual rhizoma, the Ancient Greek word for the underground root of a plant that shoots its roots horizontally and vertically, against the force of gravity, possessing the ability to replant itself and form new roots."
- Sara Raza & Ashraf Fayadh, curators of Rhizoma

Rhizoma (Generation in Waiting) at the Venice Art Biennale 2013

RHIZOMA draws its inspiration from a younger generation of Saudi artists and embraces visual art alongside technology, science and natural philosophy.

"Rhizoma (generation in waiting) is a curatorial project inspired by the multidisciplinary arts practices of 26 young artists, collectives and foundations from Saudi Arabia. This new and exciting scene is comparable to an actual rhizoma, the Ancient Greek word for the underground root of a plant that shoots its roots horizontally and vertically, against the force of gravity, possessing the ability to replant itself and form new roots."

- Sara Raza & Ashraf Fayadh, curators of Rhizoma

The Shubbak Festival 2013
Shubbak 2013 is a festival of discovery. We are proud to present new talent and new works from some of the most exciting young artists originating from the Arab world – wherever they may be residing – in your neighbourhood in London, in Brussels, or in cities like Beirut, Jerusalem, Cairo, Dubai or Marrakech.
Download the festival guide. 

The Shubbak Festival 2013

Shubbak 2013 is a festival of discovery. We are proud to present new talent and new works from some of the most exciting young artists originating from the Arab world – wherever they may be residing – in your neighbourhood in London, in Brussels, or in cities like Beirut, Jerusalem, Cairo, Dubai or Marrakech.

Download the festival guide

Alhoush.com is a new online platform for artists in the Middle East to showcase and sell their work and make a living. Established by Ehab Shanti and Rashid Abdelhamid, Alhoush is an amalgamation of the arts and commerce: designed to help alleviate the job scarcity in the region and a void of modern Arab-inspired art.
Interview with the founders can be read on Arabic Knowledge@Wharton.

Alhoush.com is a new online platform for artists in the Middle East to showcase and sell their work and make a living. Established by Ehab Shanti and Rashid Abdelhamid, Alhoush is an amalgamation of the arts and commerce: designed to help alleviate the job scarcity in the region and a void of modern Arab-inspired art.

Interview with the founders can be read on Arabic Knowledge@Wharton.

Introducing Nature Arabic Edition 

An important development for science in the Middle East?

Film Festival: Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers, 3-10 April 2013 
BFI Southbank, Barbican, ICA & Hackney Picturehouse

Film Festival: Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers, 3-10 April 2013 

BFI Southbank, Barbican, ICA & Hackney Picturehouse

A New Middle Eastern Art Centre for London
Middle Eastern art is gathering momentum in the capital. Tate’s acquisition committee, and the numerous exhibitions dedicated to artists from the region, are but a few signs of the trend. Now Edge of Arabia, a staunch promoter of the Middle East’s artistic production, and its sister education charity Crossway Foundation, are moving up a gear. After four years under the roof of London’s Arab British Centre, they will inaugurate their new venue at TESTBED 1, in Battersea, on March 7.
The 4000 sq. ft, Will Alsop-designed premises feature a 4000 sq. ft gallery, as well as a research library and space to host screenings, workshops, and performances. It will be inaugurated by “It’s a project,” a multi-media exhibition showcasing the organization’s activities since Stapleton’s first meeting with the future co-founders. In the next few months, collaborations with guest curators are not excluded. “We want to reach out to London audiences, invite them to engage with the emerging Middle East art scene,” said Stapleton.
by Coline Milliard
Testbed 1, a cavernous studio and exhibition space for artists, inventors and scientists - creative space co-run by the architect, Will Alsop

A New Middle Eastern Art Centre for London

Middle Eastern art is gathering momentum in the capital. Tate’s acquisition committee, and the numerous exhibitions dedicated to artists from the region, are but a few signs of the trend. Now Edge of Arabia, a staunch promoter of the Middle East’s artistic production, and its sister education charity Crossway Foundation, are moving up a gear. After four years under the roof of London’s Arab British Centre, they will inaugurate their new venue at TESTBED 1, in Battersea, on March 7.

The 4000 sq. ft, Will Alsop-designed premises feature a 4000 sq. ft gallery, as well as a research library and space to host screenings, workshops, and performances. It will be inaugurated by “It’s a project,” a multi-media exhibition showcasing the organization’s activities since Stapleton’s first meeting with the future co-founders. In the next few months, collaborations with guest curators are not excluded. “We want to reach out to London audiences, invite them to engage with the emerging Middle East art scene,” said Stapleton.

by Coline Milliard

Testbed 1, a cavernous studio and exhibition space for artists, inventors and scientists - creative space co-run by the architect, Will Alsop

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings End of an Old Order? 
Edited by: Bassam Haddad, Rosie Bsheer, Ziad Abu-Rish, Foreword by: Roger Owen
The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings sheds light on the historical background and initial impact of the mass uprisings which have shaken the Arab world since December 2010. The book brings together the best writers from the online journal Jadaliyya, which has established itself as an unparalleled source of information and critical analysis on the Middle East.
The authors, many of whom live in the countries affected, provide unique understanding and first-hand accounts of events that have received superficial and partial coverage in Western and Arab media alike. While the book focuses on those states that have been most affected by the uprisings it also covers the impact on Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq.
The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings covers the full range of issues involved in these historic events, from political economy and the role of social media, to international politics, gender, labour and the impact on culture, making this the ideal one-stop introduction to the events for the novice and specialist alike.

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings End of an Old Order?

Edited by: Bassam Haddad, Rosie Bsheer, Ziad Abu-Rish, Foreword by: Roger Owen

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings sheds light on the historical background and initial impact of the mass uprisings which have shaken the Arab world since December 2010. The book brings together the best writers from the online journal Jadaliyya, which has established itself as an unparalleled source of information and critical analysis on the Middle East.

The authors, many of whom live in the countries affected, provide unique understanding and first-hand accounts of events that have received superficial and partial coverage in Western and Arab media alike. While the book focuses on those states that have been most affected by the uprisings it also covers the impact on Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq.

The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings covers the full range of issues involved in these historic events, from political economy and the role of social media, to international politics, gender, labour and the impact on culture, making this the ideal one-stop introduction to the events for the novice and specialist alike.

eArtVolution ® is the first online gallery, professional community and educational portal for Arab artists in the MENA offering virtual exhibitions and social networking totally devoted to Art. Our deep interest in the Art field combined with our business, technology and educational know-how are our strength.

eArtVolution ® is the first online gallery, professional community and educational portal for Arab artists in the MENA offering virtual exhibitions and social networking totally devoted to Art. Our deep interest in the Art field combined with our business, technology and educational know-how are our strength.

Rawiya is a photography collective founded by female photographers from across the Middle East. Rawiya presents an insider’s view of a region in flux balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.
As a collective, Rawiya’s photographers respect the human dignity of the stories they tell, pooling resources and vision to produce in-depth photo-essays and long-term projects. Rawiya, meaning ‘she who tells a story’, brings together the experiences and photographic styles of Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian.
Their work is currently being exhibited at the New Art Exchange until 20 April 2013.

Rawiya is a photography collective founded by female photographers from across the Middle East. Rawiya presents an insider’s view of a region in flux balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.

As a collective, Rawiya’s photographers respect the human dignity of the stories they tell, pooling resources and vision to produce in-depth photo-essays and long-term projects. Rawiya, meaning ‘she who tells a story’, brings together the experiences and photographic styles of Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian.

Their work is currently being exhibited at the New Art Exchange until 20 April 2013.

ISHRAQAH
Friday 15 February & Saturday 16 February FESTIVAL OF MIDDLE EASTERN ART AND CULTURE
“She Who Tells a Story” Narratives of Creativity by Women from the Middle East
This half-day symposium will explore the rich variety of ways in which women working across the Middle East, and across various creative practices (art, literature, film, journalism, blogging, curating), have sought to tell their, and others’, stories. Reflecting on issues such as the politics of self-representation, the challenges and possibilities afforded by their identities as women, and the nature of their creative practice, the symposium seeks to construct a range of interdisciplinary, transnational conversations through which women are able to explore the ways their stories intersect and diverge, constructing dynamic narratives of creativity, gender and representation within the Middle East.
(Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

ISHRAQAH

Friday 15 February & Saturday 16 February
FESTIVAL OF MIDDLE EASTERN ART AND CULTURE

“She Who Tells a Story” Narratives of Creativity by Women from the Middle East

This half-day symposium will explore the rich variety of ways in which women working across the Middle East, and across various creative practices (art, literature, film, journalism, blogging, curating), have sought to tell their, and others’, stories. Reflecting on issues such as the politics of self-representation, the challenges and possibilities afforded by their identities as women, and the nature of their creative practice, the symposium seeks to construct a range of interdisciplinary, transnational conversations through which women are able to explore the ways their stories intersect and diverge, constructing dynamic narratives of creativity, gender and representation within the Middle East.

(Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS at The Tricycle Theatre 
November 30 2012 to January 12 2013
“In our heads, my lord, we do contain all the images of the universe.” In Baghdad, a young woman starts a revolution through the power of storytelling. For three years, King Shahryar has taken bloody vengeance against the women of his city, marrying a new bride every night and killing her in the morning. Scheherezade is determined to stop the bloodshed using the only weapons she has – her wit and imagination. Night after night, the King’s newest bride weaves tales of seduction, silliness and suspense. How long can her stories save her? A punky, modern reimagining of ancient tales.

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS at The Tricycle Theatre 

November 30 2012 to January 12 2013

“In our heads, my lord, we do contain all the images of the universe.” In Baghdad, a young woman starts a revolution through the power of storytelling. For three years, King Shahryar has taken bloody vengeance against the women of his city, marrying a new bride every night and killing her in the morning. Scheherezade is determined to stop the bloodshed using the only weapons she has – her wit and imagination. Night after night, the King’s newest bride weaves tales of seduction, silliness and suspense. How long can her stories save her? A punky, modern reimagining of ancient tales.