Considering the current political environment, Arab representation abroad is more important than ever. When it comes to the UK, The Arab British Centre, with its expansive program of culture events, has been a major contributor in shifting the public conversation.
With an aim of promoting Arab culture, the non-profit organisation has always put on the spotlight both individuals and other organisations putting culture forward in the UK through a biennial award.
Now in its 7th edition, the organisation just released its shortlist for the year, and it’s made entirely of women— five to be exact. Established in 2008, The Award for Culture winner is set to receive AED 11,100, and a chance to travel to one of thirteen Middle Eastern countries with the British Council.
The women pushing the envelope are curator Samar Ziadat, comedian Esther Manito, musician Juliana Yazbeck, textile artist Omeima Mudawi Rowlings and illustrator Nadine Kaadan.
Ziadat is also the director of Dardishi Festival, which focuses on art by Arab and North African women. Mudawi Rowlings, a British-Sudanese artist incorporates her Sudanese heritage in her work, having made a name for herself exhibiting both nationally and internationally. Nadine Kaadan, an award-winning Syrian author and illustrator puts the focus on children, particularly those troubled with the political situation of the region. As for Yazbeck, the Lebanese musician is a staple in the Arab art scene in London, having recently performed at Shubbak Festival.