Jeddah’s Hafez Gallery showcases Arab talent at Art Dubai

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Thuraya Al-Baqsami’s “No to the Invasion” (1990).
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Osama Esid’s “Mona” (2005 – 2007).
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Abdulsattar Al-Mussa’s “Dancing” from the series “Wedding in Al-Refaa” (1986).
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Ahaad Al-Amoudi’s “My Palm, Your Palm, Our Palm” (2017).
Updated 22 March 2018
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Jeddah’s Hafez Gallery showcases Arab talent at Art Dubai

Hafez Gallery is one of the few Saudi Arabia-based galleries featured in the 12th edition of Art Dubai — arguably the region’s most influential art gathering.

Founded in Jeddah in 2014, Hafez Gallery claims to engage “the art community to visually converse and explore Saudi and Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art” and to “nurture the discovery of a Saudi visual identity and participate in the international art dialogue.”

Art Dubai 2018 is split into three main collections: Contemporary; Modern — devoted to masters from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia; and Marker — a curated section of art spaces that focuses each year on a particular theme or geography.

This year, Hafez Gallery is participating in both Art Dubai Modern and Art Dubai Contemporary with a collection of works that includes photography, acrylics, etching and calligraphy.

In Art Dubai Modern, Hafez Gallery will present the work of two Russian-educated GCC artists: Saudi Abdulsattar Al-Mussa’s “Dancing” (from his series “Wedding in Al-Refaa”), and Kuwaiti Thuraya Al-Baqsami’s “No to the Invasion.”

Al-Mussa’s drawings examine daily social scenes, such as cafés and the energy of their employees. He is one of the few professional Saudi artists to have studied complex typography, carving and graphic art.

Al-Baqsami is a singular voice in the region. She does not bow in the face of societal and political pressure. Her exposure to a multitude of cultures shows in the mélange of history, concept and form presented in her work.

In the Contemporary section, Hafez will showcase artworks from several artists, including “My Palm, Your Palm, Our Palm” by multidisciplinary artist Ahaad Al-Amoudi, whose work intersects the past and present of Saudi Arabia. Al-Amoudi is interested in how communities measure and promote heritage through archiving and how different historical narratives weave through families and communities.

Damascus-born artist Osama Esid’s photography explores personal identity — he has lived in both the US and Egypt. Hafez will show Esid’s “Mona” at Art Dubai, as well as work from other regional artists including Nora Al-Issa, Filwa Nazer, Abdulrahman Al-Shahed and Ibrahim El-Dessouki.

Qaswara Hafez, founder of Hafez Gallery, spoke to Arab News about its participation in Art Dubai.

“Dubai has become a hub for museum directors, curators, and art-world professionals from all over the world,” he said. “Art Dubai commands the respect of the global art community and elicits the participation of galleries and artists from around the world. It is integral to the local art community, representing the state of the region’s art to define where our culture stands at the moment.”

He continued, “We focus on works that reflect the Middle East and discuss its rich culture and diverse standpoints. We don’t select art in isolation — I have to be able to establish a human connection with the artists before anything, after that comes our belief in their projects and the social contribution of their artworks.”


Mystery Egypt sarcophagus found not to house Alexander the Great’s remains

Mostafa Wazir, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, inspects the site of the newly discovered giant black sarcophagus in Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria, Egypt July 19, 2018 in this handout photo courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Mystery Egypt sarcophagus found not to house Alexander the Great’s remains

  • The unmarked tomb in Alexandria did not likely belong to any other notable ruler in the Ptolemaic period (332 BC-30 BC) associated with Alexander the Great, or the subsequent Roman era
  • The location of the remains of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC in Babylon, remains a mystery

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt: Egyptian archaeologists on Thursday dashed local hopes that a newly discovered ancient sarcophagus might contain the remains of Alexander the Great, finding instead the mummies of what appeared to be a family of three.
Workmen inadvertently unearthed the approximately 2,000-year-old black granite sealed sarcophagus this month during the construction of an apartment building in the historic Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.
The 30-ton coffin is the largest yet found in Alexandria, prompting a swirl of theories in local and international media that it may be the resting place of the ancient Greek ruler who in 331 BC founded the city that still bears his name.
Egypt’s antiquities ministry had vigorously dismissed the chances of finding Alexander’s remains inside the 30-ton sarcophagus and on Thursday its skepticism was vindicated.
“We found the bones of three people, in what looks like a family burial... Unfortunately the mummies inside were not in the best condition and only the bones remain,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site.
Waziri said some of the remains had disintegrated because sewage water from a nearby building had leaked into the sarcophagus through a small crack in one of the sides.
The location of the remains of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC in Babylon, remains a mystery.
The sarcophagus in Alexandria is the latest of a series of interesting archaeological finds this year in Egypt that include a 4,400-year-old tomb in Giza and an ancient necropolis in Minya, south of Cairo.
The unmarked tomb in Alexandria did not likely belong to any other notable ruler in the Ptolemaic period (332 BC-30 BC) associated with Alexander the Great, or the subsequent Roman era, Waziri said.
The prospect of opening the long-sealed sarcophagus had stirred fears in Egyptian media that it could unleash a 1,000-year curse.
“We’ve opened it and, thank God, the world has not fallen into darkness, said Waziri.
“I was the first to put my whole head inside the sarcophagus... and here I stand before you ... I am fine.”