Due to health concerns related to COVID-19 all staff will be working remotely until further notice. The grant giving programme will continue as normal.

We  have been forced to postpone our events planned for March 2020. These include two events by the celebrated musician Kamilya Jubran, and Mahmoud Hourani’s ‘performed talk’ about the story of puppetry in the Arab world. We will send updates to inform you once we are in a position to set new dates for these performances.

While the office remains closed, we are already working on exciting content to share with you all through our website and digital channels, please follow us on our platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep an eye on our regular e-newsletter.

In the meantime, we thought we could lift your spirits by sharing some images from our recent trip to Cairo and Fayoum in Egypt, where we visited heritage sites,  projects supported by The Barakat Trust, and cultural venues, and met with artists, craftspeople, curators, conservators, art collectors and others.

A hopeful tapestry from the Wissa Wassef Arts Centre, Harrania Cairo.

Above: Suzanne Wissa Wassef tells the story of one of the tapestries in the Wissa Wassef Tapestry Museum in Harrania, Cairo.

“I had this vague conviction that every human being was born an artist, but that his gift could be brought out only if artistic creation were encouraged by the practicing of a craft from early childhood,”

Ramses Wissa Wassef, co-founder of the Wissa Wassef Art Center.

Woven by Karima Ali in 1975, this piece, entitled ‘Battle on Horseback,’ depicts the artist’s struggle with marital problems, represented through a battle scene that erupts from an otherwise tranquil Egyptian country landscape. The tapestry, woven over a long period from the bottom up, depicts what seemed to be an insurmountable battle. While weaving the tapestry, the artist realised that she could and would overcome the challenges of her difficult situation. The rearing horses and rising sun at the top of the tapestry represent her personal victory and regained confidence.