A Farewell to Transcendent Text, the first Exhibition in QAIC's New Home

On the evening of July 15, 2021, QAIC celebrated the closing of its Transcendent Text: Exploring Universal Values Through Islamic Calligraphy exhibition. Launched in December 2020 in partnership with the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) in Qatar, the exhibition featured twenty works by master calligrapher Sabah Arbilli. 

The reception at QAIC provided the opportunity to formally recognize the impact of these works, the artist behind them, and the supporters who made it possible, like ConocoPhillips and the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, DC. The guests in attendance represented DC’s diverse landscape, including leaders from esteemed think tanks, ambassadors, and directors of cultural institutions. 


Expressions Art & Culture Talk: "Arab Cinema Then & Now" with Filmmaker Farida Zahra

On July 29 at 11 AM EDT, join QAIC for the next episode of its Expressions Art & Culture Talk series. Featuring Egyptian writer and director Farida Zahran, this webinar will share major changes within Arab cinema throughout the past century, as well as shine a spotlight on new talents and voices that are both creating authentic narratives and reshaping the distorted portrait of the Arab world in the West. 


Upcoming Museum Series Panel: "Framing Context into Concept: the Unseen Challenges of Contemporary Art Curation" 

On August 12 at 11 AM EDT, QAIC's Museum Series webinar will tackle the delicate nuances and the diverse processes that are taken into crafting a contemporary art exhibition. Featuring curators and directors from the Smart Museum in Chicago, the Asia Society Museum in New York City, the Institute of Arab & Islamic Art in New York City, and the Doha Fire Station, this panel will explore the question: how does one create a contemporary art exhibition when much of contemporary art often aims to redefine our conception of art? 


WorldPhotoDay: Road to Reopening

FOCI is Qatar America Institute for Culture’s photography program that utilizes the creative lens to highlight and capture cultural narratives from the United States and the Arab and Islamic worlds.

This year, FOCI celebrates #WorldPhotoDay through “Road to Reopening”. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a dominating force for many globally, this year’s captures will focus on how nations across the world have contended and persevered in the face of the pandemic as they move slowly towards reopening society. 

To enter this year's feature, please upload your photographs to Instagram and tag our organizational account at "@QatarAmerica" with the hashtag #FOCI2021. The last day for submissions is Monday, August 16th, 2021. Featured photos will be shared on World Photography Day on August 19th, 2021. 


QAIC’s Expressions Art & Culture Talk on August 24 at 11 AM EDT will feature renowned American photographer Wendy Ewald, who will speak on her work and travels throughout the greater Middle East and the Arabian Gulf. Wendy Ewald is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, academic, and was most recently an Artist-in-Residence at Amherst college. 


The QAIC PostScript initiative provides aspiring authors and writers the opportunity to share their unique perspectives on cultural and social topics relevant to QAIC’s mission for publication in our new quarterly A2Q magazine.  

The call for submission this quarter (August, and September) will be focused on our selected themes for these months: Photography, and Literature & Education, respectively.  

Contributors can range from established analysts, aspiring scholars, or students. If you would like to submit an original piece for publication, please closely follow our submission guidelines and submit it through the form on our website.      


"Women of the Pandemic artists and Washington Spirit players visit QAIC"

The QAIC team recently hosted players from the Washington Spirit soccer team and artists from the “Women of the Pandemic” webinar for an exclusive tour of its headquarters in downtown Washington, DC. The visiting athletes and artists viewed both Sabah Arbilli’s Transcendent Text exhibition ahead of its closing on July 15 and QAIC’s newly opened Perfumery Museum, before enjoying popular Qatari delicacies such as karak and chapati.  


What is Karak Chai?

In honor of Culinary Arts month here at QAIC, intern Maha Hamid explored the significance of Karak Chai, a flavored tea beverage made by brewing black tea leaves with milk and a mixture of aromatic spices and herbs. Originating on the Indian subcontinent, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses.


The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World by Reem Kassis 

The Arabesque Table takes inspiration from the traditional food of the Arab world, weaving Reem Kassis's historic research and cultural knowledge with her contemporary interpretations of an ancient, remarkably diverse cuisine.   

In her personal, engaging voice, Reem bridges past and present to open up the world of Arabic cooking today, showcasing a mosaic of 130 delicious, accessible home recipes. Organized by primary ingredient, the recipes and vivid photographs bring the dishes to life while her narrative offers not only a sense of taste, but a sense of time and place as well.  

More than just a compilation of modern Arabic recipes, The Arabesque Table celebrates the evolution of Arab cuisine and the stories of cross-cultural connection it recounts, paying tribute to the history and journey that have led to this point.  

With the past on full display in this heavily researched and exciting book, you will find dishes from the Golden Age of Islam: like Narjissiya (a fava bean and egg hash) and  Makmoora (a layered chicken, onion and pine nut pot pie), as well as contemporary and globally inspired interpretations: like Tahini Cheesecake and Caramelized Butternut Squash Fatteh with Za'atar, revealing a cuisine that is vibrant, nourishing, and exciting, but above all, reminding us of how powerful food is in defining the relationship between people, place and identity. 

The book is available for purchase here

Book of the Month provided by Middle East Books and More:




Become a Sponsor

As a sponsor, QAIC can continue to develop meaningful expressions and experiences, functioning as a bridge spanning the cultures of the United States, Qatar, and the larger Arab and Islamic worlds. It is through the continued support from sponsors that QAIC is able to create inclusive experiences that highlight humanity’s similarities while delighting in the diversity of our differences, thus improving cross-cultural understanding.

It is with your contribution that together we can create impact by giving QAIC the resources to become a trusted partner and art and culture catalyst by increasing awareness, creating harmony, and fostering human creativity in society in multiple ways.


Join Our Community

As a member, you become part of the extended QAIC family. With this annual membership, you will receive a more involved QAIC experience complete with additional in-depth content and unique offerings catered to our members.

These offerings include priority access to exclusive engagements with featured guests, intimate receptions with visiting artists, and other annual benefits to better serve you as a platform for cultural and creative enrichment.



The Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that creates, curates, and executes programs and research that amplify the prominence of all forms of art and culture from the United States, Qatar, and the larger Arab and Islamic worlds.


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