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Arab Eyes
A Look Back
Sept. 8 - Nov. 3

Arab Eyes
A Look Back
April 8 - June 11, 2005

Western Eyes
April 23 - June 25, 2005
The Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street,
4th Floor
New York, New York
Mon - Fri, 10am - 5pm
Sat, 12 - 5pm
FotoFest at Vine Street Studios
Houston, Texas
Wed - Sun, 11am - 6pm
FotoFest and The Station
at The ArtCar Museum
Houston, Texas


Van Leo, Cherihan, Cairo, 1976
Courtesy of the American University, Cairo

National Public Radio interview with
Issa Touma(6MB MP3)
NAZAR is an exhibit of 17 Arab photographers and 15 photographers from Europe, the U.S., Australia, Iran, and Israel about Arab cultures in the Middle East and northern Africa. The show presents 250 photographic works, most of which have never been seen before in the United States.

Among its many meanings, the Arabic word NAZAR
means 'seeing' or 'insight'. The exhibit is a journey through
many countries and many ways of seeing.

The show is brought by FotoFest from the Noorderlicht Photofestival in The Netherlands. It is being shown first in Texas and then will be shown in New York.

The exhibit is a complex and fascinating look at contemporary Arab cultures in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, United Emirates, Yemen, and Algeria.

Bringing the show to the United States is a collaboration between two internationally well-known photography organizations - FotoFest International in Houston, Texas and the Aperture Foundation in New York City.

A Look Back, an electronic presentation of historical work from Arab countries and the famous Fondation Arabe pour l'Image archive in Beirut accompanies the contemporary works.

In its entirety, NAZAR is unlike anything shown in the U.S. about the Arab world to date. The show was originated and organized by Noorderlicht curator Wim Melis.

Houston has the inaugural presentation. In Houston, FotoFest is collaborating with the contemporary art space, The Station. The NAZAR exhibit opened with Arab Eyes and A Look Back at FotoFest's downtown gallery on April 8, 2005. Opening April 23, overlapping with the Arab works, FotoFest and The Station present Western Eyes by non-Arab photographers at The ArtCar Museum.

Read a review of the exhibition from the Houston Chronicle.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 268-page book. There have been forums, student tours, and artist talks connected with the exhibit.

On Tuesday May 3, 2005, FotoFest and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University sponsored a talk entitled "IMAGE-MAKING: Culture and Photography in the Arab World" in cunjunction with the NAZAR exhibition. The talk featured Arab scholor and curator Michket Krifa, and NAZAR artist and festival director Issa Touma. Both contributed essays to the NAZAR book. More about the event.

Nadia Benchallal, Karima, Algiers, Algeria, 1994
Courtesy of Contact Press Images
Ed Kashi, Bedouin Drilling for Water, Syria, 1992
Bedouin in desert drink tea while drilling day and night for water. Courtesy of Corbis Photos
Arab Eyes
Contemporary Arab Photographers

Western Eyes
Contemporary Western Photographers
Nadia Benchallal (Algeria/France)
Hicham Benohoud (Morocco)
Nabil Boutros (Egypt/France)
Hichem Driss (Tunisia)
Lalla Essaydi (Morocco/US)
Khaled Tarek Fazaa (Yemen)
Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine/Kuwait)
Rawi Hage (Lebanon/Canada)
Rula Halawani (Palestine)
Farida Hamak (Algeria/France)
Noel Jabbour (Palestine)
Ahmed Jadallah (Palestine)
Youssef Nabil (Egypt)
Randa Shaath (US/Egypt)
Anas Al Shaikh (Bahrain)
Greta Torossian (Lebanon)
Issa Touma (Syria)
Abbas (Iran/France)
Paul Blackmore (Australia)
Wouter Deruytter (Belgium)
Michael von Graffenried (Switzerland)
Gaston Zvi Ickowicz (Argentina/Israel)
Barry Iverson (US/Egypt)
Monique Jacot (Switzerland)
Laura Junka (Finland)
Ed Kashi (US)
Jeroen Kramer (The Netherlands)
Benjamin Lowy (US)
Max Pam (Australia)
Reza (Iran/France)
Ahikam Seri (Israel)
Lars Tunbjork (Sweden)
A Look Back
Historic Arab Images
Fondation Arabe pour l'Image (Lebanon)
Lehnert & Landrock (Austria/Switzerland)
Marc Garanger (France)
Van Leo (Egypt)

As of April 8, 2005
Fayez Sarofim & Co.
Aramco Services Company
Nijad I. Fares
Abdel K. Fustok MD
Susan Vaughan Foundation, Inc.
The Clayton Fund
The Wortham Foundation
City of Houston through the Cultural Arts Council
     of Houston/Harris County
The Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce
The Station
The ArtCar Museum
Margaret Regan and Fletcher Thorne-Thomsen, Jr
William and Rosalie Hitchcock
Gay Block and Rabbi Malka Drucker
CarnesEly LLP
The Arab-American Cultural & Community Center
KUHF 88.7 FM

Trans Arabian Sound
Fadi's Mediterranean Grill
Mediterranean Palace Buffet