Four-decade old painting of an Arab man sold for $1.38m

The painting dates back to 1939. (Oman embassy in South Africa/Twitter)
Updated 03 April 2019

Four-decade old painting of an Arab man sold for $1.38m

  • The artwork, titled “An Arab Man,” was painted in Zanzibar in 1985
  • It was painted by South African artist Irma Stern

DUBAI: A rare painting of an Omani man by South African artist Irma Stern was auctioned for $1.38 million dollars, the Omani embassy in South Africa announced.

In a tweet, the Oman embassy in Cape Town revealed the painting was sold in an auction after a “fierce bidding” on March 18, where the value of the painting reached up to African Rand 12,070,000. The painting was sold to an unnamed South African buyer.

The artwork, titled “An Arab Man,” was painted in Zanzibar in 1985 by Stern, who drew inspiration from her visit in the island in 1939 and 1945.

“The painting dates back to the reign of Sultan Khalifa bin Harib bin Thwaini Al-Said,” the embassy said.

Made with oil on canvass, the painting shows an Omani man dressed in traditional garments.


Photographers reveal Egypt’s hidden gems in show for a good cause

This is the group’s fourth charitable exhibition. (Supplied)
Updated 16 min 58 sec ago

Photographers reveal Egypt’s hidden gems in show for a good cause

  • Cairo Saturday Walks are a group of photographers who go on adventures every week to take pictures across the city
  • The team is now exhibiting its work for charity at a gallery in the city

DUBAI: The Cairo Saturday Walks team, a group of photographers who go on adventures every week to take pictures across the city, are now exhibiting their work for charity at a gallery in the city.

The exhibition brought together more than 50 local, international, professional and amateur photographers who are displaying their work in the Maadi district until Nov. 22.

The youngest participant is 13 and the oldest is 60. (Supplied)

All proceeds from the gallery will go to the restoration of a public facility in one of the underserved areas that the group has walked in and photographed during the past, according to the founder of Cairo Saturday Walks Karim El-Hayawan.

This is the group’s fourth charitable exhibition.

El-Hayawan described the practice as an “organic experience,” during which photographers discover the city’s hidden gems.

The group is displaying its work in the Maadi district until Nov. 22. (Supplied)

What started off as a one-man weekly walk is now a practice shared by 500 photographers.

El-Hayawan’s journey began after he took a basic introductory course in photography. “I did not have time during the week to work on my photography assignments. I used to go out every Saturday to take pictures and I used to post on my account. Then a lot of people started asking me ‘Where are these places? Where do you go? We want to join,’ although (these places) exist 10-15 minutes from anywhere in Cairo, but people did not notice them or had forgotten them,” he told Arab News.

The photographers walk around and discover the city’s hidden gems. (Supplied)

The group has a library of more than 15,000 pictures accessible on Instagram through #cairosaturdaywalks.

“We ask people who join us to share their pictures on that hashtag, with the intention of having a long-term documentation of Cairo,” El-Hayawan said. “Everyone takes pictures from his/her own perspective. It is extremely neutral; everyone takes pictures of whatever they want.”

In two to three years, people can go back to this documentation and see that Cairo looked this way at this time,” he said.

All proceeds from the gallery will go to the restoration of a public facility in one of the underserved areas that the group has walked in and photographed during the past. (Supplied)

A typical Saturday for the photographers starts off at a cafe. “We meet in the morning at a coffee shop and we take a little bus that we rent every Saturday and we just hit the road to somewhere random and we get lost. We call them to pick us up from wherever we reach at the end of the day. The idea is that it has no structure and I really aimed at that from the very beginning,” El-Hayawan said.

What started off as a one-man weekly walk is now a practice shared by 500 photographers. (Supplied)

The youngest participant is 13 and the oldest is 60, but El-Hayawan said that anyone can join the walk and share their pictures.

“I found out about Cairo Saturday Walks from Instagram. The spirit of people I walk with is just amazing. Also, the fact that I am Egyptian yet I still get amazed by Cairo’s streets is what pushes me to explore more every week,” Yara Wael, a 17-year-old photographer, told Arab News.