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Queen Rania Patrons Exhibition Celebrating Middle Eastern Women

A new art exhibition is challenging negative stereotypes surrounding Arab women.

The travelling collection entitled ‘I AM’, features the work of 31 female artists from the Middle East and North Africa and sheds light on the realities of life for women in the region.

“I AM celebrates the rich, diverse and crucial contributions that women from the Middle East make to the enduring global quest for harmony and peace,” explains the organiser Caravan. “This exhibition is an acknowledgement of how they continue to creatively evolve new narratives that uphold their rich heritage while embracing a future full of challenges.”

HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan’s involvement with the exhibition stemmed from her sadness at the negative stories surrounding women in the Arab world. “I am amazed by the misconceptions about Muslim women and the Arab world that I hear, and that really hurts me,” she said when the exhibition premiered in Amman in May.

“I hope that as this exhibition opens in cities worldwide, and people look through this window into our lives, they see what I see – what I’ve always known: that the people of the Middle East are as warm and welcoming as they are generous and open-minded.

I AM was curated by Janet Rady, a Middle East art expert who was born in Egypt and splits her time between London and the U.A.E. She brought together the ground-breaking works of female artists from 12 countries including Ahaad Alamoudi from Saudi Arabia. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and mixed media depicting the variety of female experiences in the region.

I AM is currently on show in London at St. Martin in the Fields gallery at Trafalgar Square until the end of August. It will then tour the United States starting with the Katzen Arts Center of American University in Washington, D.C. 

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