Snapshot of a female artist in Libya from MocaTV video
© YouTube / Your Middle East
Snapshot of a female artist in Libya from MocaTV video
Last updated: August 26, 2013

5 Middle Eastern art blogs we like

Banner Icon For the art enthusiast in all of us, here are five (must-follow) blogs with a focus on art and artists in the Middle East and North Africa.

Suzee in the City

Street art in the Middle East is an incredibly popular topic of discussion these days, and not without reason. It’s a democratizing force, unstoppable in its mission to reclaim the public space. Suzee in the City, with its dozens of photographs of street art around the region, has one of the largest collections of images I’ve seen in one place. The blog is an artifact of the times. For those who can’t get enough of the recent street art explosion, or for those just learning its ins and outs, I highly recommend browsing through the archives.

Posts of note: A conversation with Egyptian artist Ganzeer; four videos commissioned by MOCATV on the state of street art in Lebanon, Palestine, Libya, and Egypt.

Tuzk-e-Asfouri

Entirely image-based, Tuzk-e-Asfouri is ideal for the wandering mind. While the blog doesn’t feature work exclusively from the Middle East or the Arab World, its pages are nonetheless filled with contemporary artwork by Middle Eastern and Arab artists.

Posts of note: “Toilette” by Hayv Kahraman; “The Ship” by Ahmed Moustafa.

Art of the Mid East

Art of the Mid East is a great blog to remember the next time you find yourself itching to learn more about art and artists from the MENA region. The blog’s goal is to encourage people to “discover what a culturally rich region the Middle East is” (a pretty easy goal to get behind) and it certainly does a good job. Here you find artist profiles, interviews, coverage on various festivals and events around the world, and a collection of other art-related posts to boot. As if that weren’t enough, Taymour Grahne, the blogger behind it all, also has plans to open a gallery in New York this fall.

Posts of note: A list of online resources for contemporary art coverage in the Middle East; Grahne’s own coverage of the 2013 Art Basel fair in Switzerland.

Arab Arts Blog

Arab Arts Blog, unlike the rest, also strives to showcase Middle Eastern literature, cinema, and theater. From the poems of Ahmad Matar to the plays of Ibrahim Al-Husseini, this blogger has you covered. Content is diverse, profoundly interesting, and the perfect addition to your reading list.

Posts of note: Middle Eastern art in maps; two poems by Ahmad Matar.

Isqineeha

For another image-based exploration of Middle Eastern contemporary art, Isqineeha is one of many excellent resources you might find hidden away in the infinite Tumblr universe. The blogger specializes in “MENASA art in particular and global art in general” and features works by a different artist every day. With more than 70 pages of artwork by MENA artists, Isqineeha is perfect for discovering new favorites, and, with a name that means “to water/feed/irrigate,” inundating all of us with inspiration.

Posts of note: Works by Zineb Sedira (Algeria) and Bassim Alsharqi (Saudi Arabia).

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Raya Saksouk
Raya is a student at the University of Michigan, specializing in international security, norms, and cooperation. You can follow her on Tumblr at arabious.tumblr.com. Raya is currently an intern at Your Middle East.
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