MEI Art Gallery Presents Arabicity | Ourouba

By Editorial Team on September 11, 2019

Sat, 14 September 2019 - Mon, 14 October 2019

Courtesy of MEI Art Gallery.
Opening: Saturday, September 14 from 7pm to 12 midnight

The inaugural exhibit, Arabicity | Ourouba, features 17 leading artists and spans two decades of contemporary art from the Arab world. Curated by renowned London-based curator Rose Issa, the show, which runs through November 22, explores themes of memory, identity, war, reconstruction, displacement.

Across various media (painting, sculpture, installation, video) featured works draw upon wide ranging influences, such as pop culture, folk art, Sufi poetry, everyday found objects and the global environmental movement. Together the works reveal the potential of art to explore personal, national, regional & international realities and to transform subjective narratives into universal ones.

Featured artists include Adel Abidin, Chant Avedissian, Ayman Baalbaki, Said Baalbaki, Khaled Barakeh, Anas AlBraehe, Tagreed Darghouth, Hassan Hajjaj, Fathi Hassan, Susan Hefuna, Abdul Rahman Katanani, Youssef Nabil, Mahmoud Obaidi, Khalil Rabbah, Raeda Saadeh, Batoul S’Himi and Sharif Waked.

During the inaugural group exhibition, the gallery will simultaneously present a pop-up installation by the Beirut-based multimedia artist Katya Traboulsi Through her series titled Perpetual Identities, Traboulsi transforms hand-crafted replicas of Lebanese war bombshells into beautiful ornate vessels. The interplay between the form of a destructive military objects and the sculptural iconography posits a tension between war and culture.


  • Saturday, September 14, 7pm-12midnight: Public Opening of Arabicity | Ourouba
    The public opening of MEI Art Gallery’s inaugural show includes participation in Art All Night*, featuring DJ Muath, Green Zone Cocktail bar Pop up, and an Arabic Calligraphy station. Art All Night is Washington, DC’s free overnight arts festival, celebrating the visual and performing arts, taking place from 7:00 PM until the early hours of the morning. Participating public and private spaces transform into pop-up galleries and performance stages for an evening of art.
  • Friday, October4, 6pm-8pm: First Friday* Gallery Reception 
    Self-guided art walk to participating art galleries around Dupont Circle. Free event.
  • Wednesday, October 16, 5:30pm-7:30pm: Documentary Film Screening\
    Ghost Hunting (Dir. Raed Andoni, 2017, 94 min, Palestine)
    Former prisoners of the infamous Al-Moskobiya detention center in Jerusalem build a replica of the prison and reenact their experiences on camera.
  • Friday, October 25, 12:30pm-2:00pm: Panel: Cultural Production in the Middle East
    The conversation will explore how culture is being produced in the Arab world today in light of the new geopolitical realities in the region, and the emergence of new power centers in the arts.
  • October31, 6:00pm – 8:00pmOpening of Katya Traboulsi’s Perpetual Identities
    Opening of Lebanese artist Katya Trabousli’s Perpetual Identities pop-up installation of bombshells converted into sculptures, including a 7pm Artist Talk with Katya Trabousli. The show runs in conjunction with Arabicity|Ourouba
  • Friday, November 1, 6pm-8pm: First Friday Gallery Reception 
    Self-guided art walk to participating art galleries around Dupont Circle. Free event.
  • Friday, November 8, 3:00pm-5:30pm: Documentary Film Screening
    For Sama  (2019-95mn-US Premiere-Syria)
    A wrenching documentary telling the story of one woman’s journey through love, motherhood, war and survival during five years of the Syrian conflict. Directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

MEI Art Gallery is located at 1763 N Street NW.