HIGHLIGHTS from Sherin Guirguis’ ‘Bint al Nil’

Sherin Guirguis ‘Here I Have Returned.’ (Supplied)
Updated 07 February 2019
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HIGHLIGHTS from Sherin Guirguis’ ‘Bint al Nil’

DUBAI: Sherin Guirguis’ “Bint al Nil” is one of two exhibitions chosen to open the Tahrir Cultural Center at the American University in Cairo this month, which runs until February 28.

‘Here I Have Returned’ (2018)
LA-based, Luxor-born artist Sherin Guirguis has created a body of work intended to honor Doria Shafik, the pioneering Egyptian feminist who founded the Bint Al Nil Movement, which was instrumental in gaining Egyptian women the right to vote.

‘Storming Parliament I’ (2018)
One of a pair of paintings whose paper patterns echo the architecture of the gates outside Egypt’s parliament building. Guirguis has partially covered them in swathes of indigo-blue ink, mirroring the Nile. The title refers to a march on parliament led by Shafik in 1951, leading more than 1,500 women in protest against male dominance in politics.

‘Azbakeya (Will You Welcome Me This Time)’ (2018)
The background pattern of this piece reflects the latticework on the fences around Cairo’s Azbakeya Gardens — the scene of Shafik’s first public address. In a press release for Guirguis’ similar recent exhibit in the US, the artist’s work was described as “crucial, because she is … bringing awareness to histories that will likely fade away.”

 


Iraqi museum unveils ‘looted’ artefacts

Updated 20 March 2019
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Iraqi museum unveils ‘looted’ artefacts

  • Basra is the most oil-rich province in Iraq but its heritage sites have long been neglected
  • US says it has repatriated more than 3,000 stolen artefacts to Iraq since 2005

BASRA, Iraq: Over 2,000 artefacts, including about 100 that were looted and found abroad, were unveiled Tuesday in a museum in Basra province on the southern tip of Iraq, authorities said.
Basra is the most oil-rich province in Iraq but its heritage sites have long been neglected.
On Tuesday between 2,000 and 2,500 pieces went on display in the Basra Museum, the second largest in Iraq, said Qahtan Al-Obeid, head of archaeology and heritage in the province.
“They date from 6000 BC to 1500 AD,” he told AFP, referring to the Assyrian, Babylonian and Sumerian periods.
Obeid said about 100 artefacts — most of which came from Jordan and the United States — were given back to Iraq to be displayed in the museum, a former palace of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.
The heritage of Iraq, most of which was former Mesopotamia, has paid a heavy price due to the wars that have ravaged the country for nearly four decades.
Following the US-led invasion that overthrew Saddam in 2003, Daesh group militants destroyed many of the country’s ancient statues and pre-Islamic treasures.
During its occupation of nearly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, Daesh captured much attention by posting videos of its militants destroying statues and heritage sites with sledgehammers and pneumatic drills on the grounds that they are idolatrous.
But experts say they mostly destroyed pieces too large to smuggle and sell off, and kept the smaller pieces, several of which are already resurfacing on the black market in the West.
The United States says it has repatriated more than 3,000 stolen artefacts to Iraq since 2005, including many seized in conflict zones in the Middle East.