Dossier: Islamic Art

Portrait of the Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey with his daughter Nazli (photo: Cretanforever)

Turkish art in Germany

A reading Arab pulls in the crowds

His paintings fetch record sums in Turkey. Now the works of Osman Hamdi Bey are pulling in the crowds at Berlin's Alte Nationalgalerie, much to the delight of its young director. By Julia VossMore

Tammam Azzam's "Freedom Graffiti" (photo: The Ayyam Gallery)

Syrian painter and digital artist Tammam Azzam

"I, the Syrian"

"I, the Syrian" is the title of an exhibition by Tammam Azzam that was held in Beirut and London in early 2014. Selected works from his project now feature in various international art exhibits. Martina Sabra met and spoke with the Syrian painter and digital artist in BeirutMore

La Mezquita in the Andalusian city of Cordoba (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

La Mezquita in Cordoba

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Is Cordoba denying its Islamic heritage?

Many people in Spain feel that the Bishop of Cordoba would like the world to forget that his cathedral was once a mosque. But Spain is not the only Mediterranean country where religious ignorance poses a threat to architectural treasures. By Dieter BartetzkoMore

Caricatures of Lebanese politicians (including Saad Hariri, Samir Geagea, Walid Jumblatt, President Michel Sulaiman) celebrating New Year and looking ahead to an explosive 2014 (photo: Facebook Ad-Dabbour Magazine/Eliot)

The Lebanese satirical magazine "Ad-Dabbour"

Hornets' nest in Beirut

The satirical magazine ''Ad-Dabbour'' (the hornet) is one of the oldest magazines in Beirut. Björn Zimprich spoke to Joseph Moukarzel, editor-in-chief of the magazine, about the purpose of satire, freedom of expression in the Arab world and the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in western magazines in recent yearsMore

Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, one of the locations used for Biennale Jogja XII (photo: Christina Schott)

Biennale Jogja XII Equator #2

Indonesia's arts scene explores the Arab world

Thirty-five artists and artists' groups from Indonesia and a selection of Arab countries are presenting their work as part of the Equator series at this year's Biennale Jogja in Yogyakarta. Christina Schott took a look aroundMore

Still from the film "The Physician" in which the Shah (played by Oliver Martinez, right) is treated by Avicenna (played by Ben Kingsley, left) (source: UFA Cinema GmbH)

"The Physician" by Noah Gordon

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The long road from international bestseller to film

The novel "The Physician" was one of the biggest international successes of the last few decades. So it's all the more surprising that it wasn't made into a film years ago. A big-screen version has now finally been released – with a German production team. By Regina RolandMore

Entrance to the Mathaf Museum in Qatar (source: Qatar Museum Authority, QMA)

The Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar

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Can Mathaf Restore a Pan-Arab Artistic Identity?

In 2010, Mathaf (the Arab Museum of Modern Art) was opened in the Gulf state of Qatar. In his essay, Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi provides an overview of pan-Arabism in recent decades and looks at what this museum can do to restore a pan-Arab cultural identity that has been neglected and in some cases even vilified for decadesMore

Tunisian film-maker Nacer Khemir (photo: Christina Omlin)

Interview with Nacer Khemir

Islam as a Culture of Reconciliation

Tunisian film-maker and visual artist Nacer Khemir criticises the cultural inertia, which he feels was caused by decades of dictatorship, and the growing religious fervour gripping his country. He spoke to Christina OmlinMore

'Wonderland' by Halil Altindere (photo: © Servet Dilber)

The Istanbul Biennial

A Missed Opportunity for Art

As the art biennial opens, the smell of violence once again lies in the air in Istanbul. Can a major exhibition respond to the language of the street and fulfil its promise of a free and modern society? By Catrin LorchMore

Interview with Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

"I Don't Mix Cultures, I Translate"

In his work, the Belgian-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui combines elements from different cultures, religions and styles. In this interview with Ceyda Nurtsch, he explains how his Moroccan roots influence his perception of aesthetics and speaks about the role of art in the Arab SpringMore

Drawing of Handala, the most famous creation by Palestinian comic-strip artist Naji al-Ali (photo: Wikipedia)

Arab Comics

From Micky Mouse to Handala

While Mickey Mouse is shrill and colourful, Handala's stories are told in black and white. The Arab comic is an artistic and multifaceted form of expression. As well as being popular with children, it is also educational and it serves as vehicle for political criticism. Report by Anna GabaiMore

Meriam Bousselmi (photo: Globalize Cologne)

Interview with the Tunisian Theatre Director Meriam Bousselmi

Fear of Religious Fanatics

The young Tunisian lawyer, dramatist and director, Meriam Bousselmi, was born in Tunis, where she still lives, in 1983. She's currently making a name for herself with sharp, critical works for the theatre, such as her latest production, "Sabra". She spoke to Suleman TaufiqMore

Beirut exhibition of Salah Saouli's 'The Days of the Blue Bat' project (photo: Charlotte Bank)

Salah Saouli: The Days of the Blue Bat

A Piece of the Collective Memory Mosaic

The work of German-Lebanese artist Salah Saouli repeatedly draws on strands of recent Lebanese history and examines how these are perceived in the individual and collective consciousness. By Charlotte BankMore

Islamic calligraphy (photo: picture-alliance/Tone Koene)

Muslim Art

The ''True'' Aesthetic of Islam

Does art have to be consonant with the religious dictates of Islam? In Egypt, orthodox and secular Muslims cannot agree on whether and what extent art should serve a moral purpose. By Joseph CroitoruMore

The Turkish pianist Fazil Say (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Turkish Pianist Fazil Say Sentenced for Insulting Islam

Playing the Wrong Tune

World-renowned concert pianist Fazil Say was given a suspended jail sentence in Turkey for insulting religious values on Twitter, a case which has become a cause celebre for Turks alarmed about creeping Islamic conservatism. By Tim NeshitovMore

Al-Kasaba trainee actors in rehearsal (photo: Schauspiel-Akademie)

Drama School in the West Bank

Theatre of Hope

Students at the West Bank's first and only drama school talk about their struggle to establish a theatre in the West Bank and their desire to change society for the better through theatre. Ulrike Schleicher spoke to three of themMore

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