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Egyptian model Imaan Hammam puts a spotlight on MENA artists

In a carousel of paintings on Instagram, the model featured works from late Egyptian artist Hussein Bicar to London-based Pippa El-Kadhi Brown

Egyptian model Imaan Hammam puts a spotlight on MENA artists
[Source photo: Imaan Hammam/Instagram | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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The Middle East’s art industry is taking on the world by storm.

Dutch Moroccan Egyptian model Imaan Hammam is giving artists from the MENA region a boost by promoting them to her 1.6 million Instagram followers.

Known for curating playlists of regional music for her social media followers, Hammam is further promoting regional artists.

In a carousel of paintings, the star featured works from late Egyptian artist Hussein Bicar’s Arouss Al-Nubia (Nubian Bride) (1992), London-based Pippa El-Kadhi Brown’s There’s a Whole World out There, in Here (2022), Anuar Khalifi’s Ghurba (2020), as well as work by Sudanese artist Amani Azhari and Finnish Tunisian artist Dora Dalila Cheffi.

Hammam’s playlists include diverse tunes, including Arab artists Cheb Mami, Ruba Shamshou, Fela Kuti, and Sade.

She previously spoke about her respect for Middle Eastern artistry, “I grew up as one of six children with a Moroccan mother and an Egyptian father. Growing up in a Western country, my parents made sure that we were proud of our roots and knew how to speak Arabic. They always surrounded me with our heritage at home through music, film, and art.”

In July, more than 150 Middle Eastern art, such as paintings, sculptures, drawings, and installations, were displayed on the global stage as part of Christie’s summer exhibition in London.

The Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World celebrates creativity, diversity, and history of Arab art in two sections: Kawkaba, Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation, and Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices.

The exhibition is considered a feat, thanks to a partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah. Kawkaba, a loan exhibition of 100 masterpieces from the Barjeel Art Foundation, pays homage to the artistic diversity of the Arab world and is a gender-balanced exhibition that highlights regionally celebrated and underrepresented artists.

Pieces by Emirati artist Sharif were also part of the collection, inspired by established and emerging talents in the Gulf, alongside works by contemporary UAE national artists.

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