National Museum of Qatar

Nicolai Ouroussoff , “Celebrating the Delicate Beauty of the Desert Landscape,” New York Times (March 22, 2010)

… typical of  New York Times architectural critics, speaking with the binary lingo of “the gap between the high-tech aesthetics of the West and the traditions of the Middle East”…

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New Beirut Art Center

Patrick Healy, “Face of War Pervades New Beirut Art Center,” New York Times (July 6, 2009 )

“The Beirut Art Center, a 16,000-square-foot space occupying two floors of a former factory, opened on Jan. 15 with a gala that drew a thousand people, and it has quickly emerged as a popular destination for Beirutis, tourists and art critics at the city’s newspapers and across Lebanon.

Through next Tuesday it is housing a provocative exhibition of work by 20 Lebanese artists titled “The Road to Peace: Paintings in Times of War, 1975-1991,” a collection of pieces that portray the trauma of the Lebanese civil war. Most of the work has not been shown publicly before, the exhibition organizers say, and reflects the art center’s ambitions to become a major cultural player in a modern, peaceful Lebanon.”

Crumbling of the Casbah

The Crumbling of the Casbah

by Craig S. Smith in the New York Times (July 23, 2006)

“UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage site, and the Algerian government has designated it a protected landmark, to no avail. Closed in on itself, symbolizing the local population’s long isolation from French colonial rulers — and more recently, radical Islam’s retreat from modernity — this seemingly impenetrable agglomeration of houses is falling down.”

Exotic to Critique Exoticism

"Les Femmes du Moroc: Grand Odalisque"

Benjamin Genocchio: “ ‘Lalla Essaydi: Les Femmes du Maroc,’ an exhibition at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum,  draws attention to one of the most interesting if puzzling developments in contemporary art: a revival of exotic, often historical imagery of people from faraway places in the name of a critique of exoticism…”  (NY Times, March 4, 2010)

lecture by Nasser Rabbat (April 30)

Nasser Rabbat

M.I.T.

The Glamor Factor in the Cities of the Arabian Gulf


April 30, 2010, Friday, 12:00

List Art Center, # 110

Nasser Rabbat, Ph.D., is the Aga Khan Professor and the Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT.  He is an architect and a historian, with a focus on Islamic architecture, urban history, and post-colonial studies.  His books include, The Citadel of Cairo: A New Interpretation of Royal Mamluk Architecture, Thaqafat al Bina’ wa Bina’ al-Thaqafa (The Culture of Building and Building Culture), Making Cairo Medieval, and L’art Islamique à la recherche d’une méthode historique.  He regularly consults on design projects in the Middle East and lectures extensively all over the world.

Sponsored by funds in part from the Kenneth List Endowment, Funds for Internationalizing the Curriculum; Department of History of Art and Architecture;  the Cogut Center for the Humanites; Urban Studies Program. Part of HIAA 0490 Urban Modernity and the Middle East.

lecture by Hashim Sarkis (April 5)

Hashim Sarkis

Harvard University

“Beirut Normal”


April 5, 2010, Monday, 12:00

Brown University, List Art Center, # 110

Hashim Sarkis is the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His publications on Lebanon include Circa 1958; Lebanon in the Pictures and Plans of Constantinos Doxiadis and Projecting Beirut (co-editor with Peter Rowe). Sarkis is a practicing architect between Beirut and Boston. His projects have been widely published and exhibited.

Sponsored by funds in part from the Kenneth List Endowment, Funds for Internationalizing the Curriculum; Department of History of Art and Architecture;  the Cogut Center for the Humanites; Urban Studies Program. Part of HIAA 0490 Urban Modernity and the Middle East.

Actions: What You Can Do With the City

Actions: What You Can Do With the City presents 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world. Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, 26 November 2008 – 19 April 2009 Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago, 16 October 2009 – 13 March 2010