https://arab.news/pxnfb
LONDON: The work of European street artist and activist Cake$, who uses public art to protest against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank and as an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people, is currently on display for the first time in Italy.
The exhibition, titled A Child Is Born In Bethlehem, opened at the Palazzo Oddo Gallery in Albenga on Sep. 4 and continues until Sep. 19. Curated by British-Palestinian art collector, activist and journalist Zayna Al-Saleh and Italian collector Lorenzo Sibilla, it showcases the entirety of the artist’s work to date, including photography of his street art in Palestine, original stencils, linocuts and video art.
Cake$, who guards his true identity and describes himself on his Instagram page as an “open-air prison artist,” has created more than 300 works in Bethlehem over the past four years.
The title of the exhibition references a 16th-century hymn by Samuel Scheidt, which organizers said allows for the juxtaposition of divinity and profanity, past and present, perceived spaces and their actuality to frame the contemporary Palestinian experience, drawing much-needed attention to the persecution of the Christian Palestinian community in the Occupied Territories.
Israel’s separation barrier, dubbed an “apartheid wall” by human rights campaigners, is viewed by many as a symbol of occupation. Cake$ told Arab News that he paints on the wall to advocate for non-reformist reforms that diminish the power of an oppressive system while emphasizing the system’s inability to solve the problems it creates.


“Little Palestinian Girl Hula Hooping Barbed Wire” (2019). (Supplied)

His artworks often depict dark silhouettes of children combined with military symbols. As they play or live with tools of war, such as barbed wire, the children seem unaware they are in imminent danger.
The use of single-color silhouettes helps to reinforce his very clear and hard hitting message. The images serve to illustrate the fact that humans are not born violent or hateful but cultural conditions can cause them to become that way. Some of his works feature monitory text, such as “CAUTION/ Toys Of Any Kind Prohibited” (2019) and “I Was An Angel and They Tear Gassed Me” (2020).
Cake$ pointed out that in addition to the obvious Palestinian connections, his images also have another, more universal, message.
“The girl with the barbed wire, it’s not just about the kids in Palestine that are suffering because of the wall but all kids that suffer because of a border system,” he said. “The situation in Palestine is really special because it’s been there for 20 years this year.”
Repetition of imagery is an important part of activist street art, said exhibition co-curator Al-Saleh.
“There is a very persistent condition involved with activist art, especially street art, due to the material impermanence of it, because art on the wall gets painted over quite regularly,” she said.
“This means Cake$’s approach to painting in Bethlehem is done with serious persistence, just so that his message remains visible and that his presence has been felt by Palestinians and by tourists and passersby alike.”


Two of Cake$’s linocuts created for A Child Is Born In Bethlehem. (Supplied)

That said, in creating a series of linocuts for the exhibition, Cake$ chose not to simply replicate images of his street art and instead reworked them to better fit the blank space of the gallery walls. In doing so he is “redirecting his public art practice to smaller-scale images, to situate his work at the very boundary between Bethlehem and a safe art institution,” according to the exhibition organizers.
“I wanted to recreate these images in a contemporary art way so I used the motifs and the barbed wire to create a more complicated image,” Cake$ said.
Some of his most striking works on display are those that reinterpret the works of Old Masters to reflect the Palestinian narrative. For example, in his piece that homages Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” retitled “The Persistence of Apartheid,” three masks dangle loosely with an Israeli watchtower visible in the background.


“Persistence of Apartheid (Dali)” (2019). (Supplied)

“We all put on masks, in some way or another, and for some people it’s better for them to put on masks than to see the truth of apartheid,” said Cake$.
The exhibition deals with heavy concepts, which can provoke extreme emotional responses. The contrast between the tragic and absurd has reportedly moved several visitors to tears. However, if one looks closely, there are perhaps glimmers of hope in some of the works on display.
Speaking about a linocut titled “Little Palestinian Girl Removing Barbed Wire” (2022), Cake$ said: “I used chalk to paint something in a more expressionist way, which will show the way I see the future beyond barbed wire.”
From Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-Ali’s famous character Handala to British street artist Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, visual activism has played an integral role in supporting Palestinian resistance on a global scale. Art has an emotional and personal element that means it can educate, enlighten and empower people to bring about change.
“I don’t want to change the politics of borders or make them more humane but instead demolish walls and borders,” Cake$ said. “That’s what I try to show by painting on the apartheid wall.
“What I call border abolition is concerned with expanding this freedom, the freedom to move and to stay. This does not mean advocating for free movement in the world as it is currently configured but rather for transformation of the conditions to which borders are a response.”
In an age of cynicism, Cake$ dares viewers to look at the world as it is and imagine what it could be.
LOS ANGELES: Lebanese dance crew Mayyas may have only assembled four years ago but they have taken the world by storm — one dance step at a time. Having garnered high praise on the “America’s Got Talent” stage, the all-female group founded by Lebanese choreographer Nadim Cherfan are once again grabbing headlines for their show-stopping ethereal performances which have catapulted them to the finals.
“I felt proud. I felt scared. I felt a huge responsibility. All of these mixed feelings came at once. It was absolutely beautiful for me,” Cherfan told Arab News after the episode aired.


Where it began
Cherfan was 14 when he fell in love with the world of dance and took off to attend workshops in the UK, the US and India to perfect his craft. He was 20 when he began to teach others; his first class consisted of three girls. By 2019, he was teaching 200 students. And from those 200, Mayyas was born.
Cherfan formed the group in order to compete in the sixth season of “Arabs Got Talent.” And despite being newcomers, the group dazzled, wowing judge and Lebanese singing superstar Najwa Karam who awarded them entry to the final with her ‘golden buzzer’ and they were ultimately crowned champions.

A post shared by Mayyas Dance Crew مَيّاس (@mayyasofficial)
“I chose a female crew, because I wanted to deliver a message about female empowerment, as we all know that, even today, Arab women are still called names for being dancers. I wanted to prove how elegant refined and beautiful dancing is,” Cherfan said in an Arab News interview at the time. “And who’s better than these gorgeous ladies to do so?”
But winning one of the most prestigious talent awards in the Middle East wasn’t enough. With success came self-inflicted pressure to do even better. “The golden buzzer, the standing ovation, the beautiful comments of the judges, and winning the title itself are challenges, because they are stress and responsibility — in those moments (all I am thinking is) ‘What’s next? How can I do better?’”

A post shared by America’s Got Talent – AGT (@agt)
That same year, Mayyas competed in “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions,” a spin-off of “Britain’s Got Talent,” in which the group were the only act from the Middle East to participate.
The response from the judges and audience was overwhelming. “Absolutely genius — brilliant, inventive… (I’ve) never seen a dance like this ever on one of these shows,” said judge Simon Cowell at the time.
Where it’s going
This year, Mayyas are making their mark on the international scene once again after they were awarded the golden buzzer by “America’s Got Talent” judge Sofia Vergara in June. Now, having wowed the judges (Vergara, Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel) again this week, the dancers are on their way to the finals, set to be broadcast on Sept. 13 and 14.
They are receiving strong backing from their Lebanese fans. The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International launched an advertising campaign in the US with the slogan “Kermalak Ya Lebnen” — which translates to ‘For You Lebanon’ — to promote and support them.

A post shared by Mayyas Dance Crew مَيّاس (@mayyasofficial)
LBCI backed Mayyas with adverts on its TV and social-media channels, and also worked with local and Arab media outlets in the US to support the campaign.
“The Lebanese people around the world have showed us huge support,” Cherfan said. “We’ve been getting tons of messages. Everybody is backing up Mayyas. Everybody is rooting for Mayyas. So I’m really thankful for the Lebanese diaspora that is being really supportive for Mayyas,” he added.
Not that Mayyas necessarily need the help, considering the acclaim they’ve garnered so far.

“Thirty-six women dancing as one,” said judge Vergara of their semi-final performance. “It’s magic.”
And the often-cynical Cowell was even more blown away, saying: “Every single one of us in this room, I promise you, is going to remember this moment. This is not just going to change your lives, and this is going to sound very dramatic, this is a performance that changes the world. It was as good as it gets. Respect.”
During his interview with Arab News, the choreographer, who estimates that he has worked with 300 Lebanese girls and women in his 17 years as a dance teacher, took his time to thank his team for their hard work.
“To all the Mayyas, all the girls, all my sisters. I would like to say for them, thank you for trusting me,” he said. “The responsibility got bigger. I hope we will be able to be up to the standard of the finale because the talents are really big this year. But the Mayyas are ready.”
– Shyama Krishna Kumar contributed to this report 
DUBAI: Often referred to as the Marilyn Monroe of the East, the late Arab icon Hind Rostom left her mark on the region’s film industry, having starred in more than 70 movies.
Born Nariman Hussein Murad in Alexandria, Egypt, on Nov. 12, 1929, her father was Turkish and her mother Egyptian. After her parents’ divorce, a young Rostom lived an unsettled life, following her policeman father from city to city until she moved as a teenager to Cairo in 1946.
She first lit up the silver screen as a non-speaking extra in 1949 and went on to turn heads with her first major role in Egyptian film director Hassan Al-Imam’s 1955 “Banat El-Lail” (“Women of the Night”).
She is, perhaps, most famous for her turn as a lemonade vendor in Youssef Chahine’s tense 1958 drama “Cairo Station,” with her complex portrayal of a woman on the fringes of society earning her kudos from the film industry, as well as fans for generations to come.
With her blonde locks and striking features, she soon became a fashion icon with women around the Arab world flocking to copy her latest look — she was even dubbed Egypt’s Brigitte Bardot, and The First Lady of Egyptian Cinema — however, it was her frequent portrayal of strong female characters that earned Rostom an everlasting spotlight.
She is known for her portrayal of outspoken characters alongside legendary actors such as Farid Shawqi and Omar Sharif, defying stereotypical gender norms of the time and inadvertently becoming a feminist symbol for many.

In an interview with veteran broadcast journalist Mahmoud Saad in 2010, Rostom said that one of the favorite movies of her career was “Emraa Ala El-Hamesh” (“A Woman on the Outside”).
The 1963 film tells the story of a famous actress who after murdering her husband was sentenced to life imprisonment and had to leave her son to be raised by a maid. The maid worked as a dancer and gave the son to a wealthy family. Years later, the mother leaves prison and works as a maid for the family to stay close to her son.
That year, and after also starring in “Shafiqa the Copt,” Rostom’s career blossomed, and she went on to accumulate accolades.

She received a special mention at the Venice Film Festival for Fatin Abdel Wahab’s “Women in My Life” in 1957 and won a lifetime achievement award from the Arab World Institute in Paris.
Rostom also received best actress award from the Association of Egyptian Cinema Writers and Critics for her part in “The Coward and Love” in 1975, the only award she accepted throughout her life. She is quoted to have said she believed it to be sincere.
When speaking to Saad, a year before her death in August 2011, she said she felt, “an actor’s prize is people’s love,” adding, “they are the ones who talk about us and watch us, so it’s the people.”
In a move that is almost unheard of in today’s entertainment industry, Rostom retired at the peak of her career in 1979 and refused to work again. “My life is not for sale,” she said when producers offered her the chance to turn her life story into a drama series.
“I have no regrets,” she told Saad about her decision to retire. “I did it for the love of my life, my prince, Dr. Fayad,” she added, referring to her second husband Dr. Mohammed Fayad, who she was married to for more than 50 years.
Rostom had a daughter, Basant, with her first husband, director Hassan Reda.
Legacy
Eleven years after her death, the actress remains an idol to many actors and filmmakers in the Arab world.
“She was born a star. She was a real icon,” renowned Egyptian director Mohamed Yassin told Arab News.
“At that time, actresses like Faten Hamama, Nadia Al-Gendy, and Hind Rostom were the leading stars in movies. This male-dominated cinema probably came later. Now, the male actors lead the productions and that is due to so many changes that took place in the Egyptian and Arab societies,” he said.
One of Rostom’s famous titles was “Queen of Seduction.” However, many people, including Tunisian Egyptian star Hend Sabri, believe that she presented these roles respectfully.
In an interview with Al Raya, Sabri said: “Hind Rostom is my idol. She is the ‘Queen of Seduction’ in Egypt, whose work in cinema was respectable and purposeful.”
Yassin added: “Her beauty had no boundaries and she had fierce femininity. She was every Arab man’s dream woman.”
The filmmaker, famous for the 2008 flick “The Promise” and this year’s Ramadan series “El-Meshwar,” noted that at the time, people accepted her roles without getting into details about ethics and morals. But that was not all she presented to her audience. “She did drama, tragedy, comedy, and other genres,” he said.

Egyptian critic Essam Zakaria, who is the artistic director of the Alexandria Film Festival for Mediterranean cinema, told Arab News: “She portrayed an evil character in ‘La Anam’ (‘Sleepless’), the naive rich girl in ‘Rod Qalby’ (‘Back Again’), and the seductive woman in ‘Ebn Hamido’ (‘Son of Hamido’).
“Her roles were diverse. She is one of the few who were able to play the good and the evil characters at the same time.
“She presented femininity and seduction in a way that left a mark. She became a role model and many other celebrities tried to imitate her afterwards,” Zakaria said.
Yassin pointed out that many actresses now feared taking on roles as bold and daring as some of Rostom’s.
“She was exceptional, and no one can now present what she did at her time,” he added.

One of her most famous fans, Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe, previously said: “Hind Rostom will always be an icon in our hearts.”
Last year, people from around the world flocked to buy eight pieces from her jewelry collection on sale at auction house Sotheby’s. Displayed as part of the art house’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Part II auction, the items were offered by the actress’ family for the first time. All eight pieces in the sale were sold at prices above their high pre-sale estimates.
Rostom was known for her passion for collecting jewelry, sourcing items from around the world through her favorite boutique in Cairo, as well as designing a number of signature pieces.
In his 2011 book, “Hind Rostom: The World’s Greatest Actress,” Hollywood and cinema historian Maximillien De Lafayette described her as, “an international star and an unmatched diva of the golden years of cinema, both Egyptian and foreign.”
According to the online website of Egypt’s broadcasting organization Maspero, the American writer gifted Rostom the book and sent it to her Cairo house, only a few months before she died.
“Hind Rostom was magical. She has tremendous talent, breathtaking beauty, and artistic presence that transcends time, place, and eternity,” De Lafayette wrote in his book.
TORONTO: The stars and real-life inspiration for Egyptian Welsh director Sally El-Hosaini’s drama “The Swimmers” strutted along the red carpet this week at the 47th annual Toronto International Film Festival – the first in-person version of Toronto’s celebration of film since the pandemic.
“The Swimmers,” a Netflix film that premieres in some theaters Nov. 23, is a dramatization of Syrian refugee sisters Sarah and Yusra Mardini, played by real-life sisters Nathalie Issa and Manal Issa, who fled their war-torn country by boat and had to swim part of the way to keep the vessel moving.
Yusra was selected to compete for the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and competed again in 2020. Her sister Sara, meanwhile, became active helping refugees.
According to the International Organization for Migration, 24,598 people have gone missing in the Mediterranean since 2014.
This reality was driven home when film crews saw dinghies with real-life migrants as they shot the film’s dinghy scene, El-Hosaini told Reuters.
“We saw the dinghies crossing when we were filming. And it just reminds you of how important this story is.”
She said she used handmade lenses with imperfections to portray scenes in a way far removed from news images to keep people from tuning out.
Manal, who plays Sara in the film, said the discourse around refugees and asylum-seekers needs to change in both fiction and news coverage, highlighting what she said was a different approach to refugees fleeing war in Ukraine from those from outside of Europe.
“You know what happened this year with Ukraine: ‘It’s not Afghanistan. It’s not Syria’ … This is what people believe.”
It was “crazy” to see her life translated to the big screen, Yusra said. Standing beside her sister on the red carpet in a glittering silver sequined dress in front of a series of microphones, she said she knows she and her sister are now uniquely placed to have a strong voice on this issue.
“Obviously this movie is going to put the conversation on the table again, speaking about refugees, speaking about the crisis.”
LONDON: A UK-based marketplace for digital non-fungible tokens has announced plans to tokenize and sell all five volumes of the oldest handwritten Qur’an manuscript available in the public domain.
Metadee, which offers digital artworks and collectibles from around the world, said in July that it had tokenized the third, fourth and fifth volumes of a copy of the Qur’an handwritten by the personal scribe of the Prophet Muhammad, Zayd ibn Thaabit, who served as the chief recorder of Qur’anic text.
Now it has confirmed that all five volumes will be made available as NFTs — digital objects specially encoded with proof of their unique nature and ownership — for purchase “to ensure everyone in any country, especially in countries which do not trade in crypto(currency), can access the manuscript.” In addition, the physical copies of volumes one and two are going up for auction.
One million NFTs of each of volumes three, four and five of the manuscript have been created and are available to buy for $200 each. The bidding for volumes one and two begins at $25 million per volume, and the successful bidder for each of them will receive the physical copy plus an NFT.
Matadee founder Deepali Shukla told Arab News that the Qur’an NFTs “are limited, digitized versions of the very first manuscript, handwritten in ink by the personal scribe of the Prophet (and) owing to their immeasurable historic and cultural value, the manuscripts are being seen as a cherished treasure by the faithful and art collectors alike.”
The company said that this rare Qur’an manuscript is believed to have been written in 632 A.D. and has been authenticated and certified by the University of Oxford’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, the leading global authority in dating archaeological artifacts using radiocarbon dating technology.
“In addition to owning and preserving a unique and significant artifact, any individual that owns such an NFT can pass it on to future generations using proof of ownership secured on blockchain,” Shukla said.
“Equally so, it is a great honor to bring enduring wisdom from 1,400 years (ago) and to make it even more valuable in today’s and tomorrow’s digital world.”
She explained that the original manuscripts from which the NFTs will be created are in the possession of a custodian family and kept in Geneva, Switzerland. Generations of the family have traveled through Madinah, Makkah and Syria over the years, and have guarded the volumes and kept them secure.
“Thanks to tokenization, rare artifacts and holy texts can now be acquired more easily and accessed without the restrictions of time and space,” said Shukla.
“This helps enrich learning experiences, empowers communities, and makes knowledge more appealing for young people.”
Shukla, who describes herself as a collector and art enthusiast, said recently-launched MetaDee fills a significant gap in the NFT marketplace, in the sense that not everyone might feel attracted to the abstract.
“We have, therefore, innovated a marketplace for exquisite, real and rare digitalized collectibles,” she said. “What was once the exclusive domain of the rich and the ultra-wealthy is now democratized. Everyday people can now own such rare, exclusive and real tokenized artworks and collectibles.”
Shukla said that Metadee’s NFTs undergo extensive scrutiny and due diligence and each collectible is carefully studied, researched and scientifically validated as being one of a kind and valuable. Since the company began selling them, she added, it has received a great response from organizations, countries and even across religions.

A post shared by MetaDee Marketplace (@metadeenfts)
“If we were to even set aside their collectible value, this undertaking is proving to be something truly empowering,” she said.
The Qur’an manuscript NFTs are unique, she added, because no other format assigns proof of ownership that can be verified and validated in perpetuity. They can be accessed anytime, anywhere around the world, are easily stored on the blockchain, and are transferable to new owners.
“Besides digital information, NFTs hold perpetual records using smart contracts that may be accessed on blockchain; therefore gifting, purchasing and selling collectibles is made easy within a safe and secure marketplace such as MetaDee.”
Shukla said that the market for digital NFT collectibles is the fastest-growing niche market, and is expected to be worth $700 billion in the coming decade, as several countries, including Saudi Arabia, have started to accept cryptocurrency and NFTs and some have even installed cryptocurrency ATMs.
“As time progresses, actual, tangible and real assets almost always endure, hence the rationale of augmented value of such tokenized assets seems to appeal to people,” she added.
AMSTERDAM: It all started with a yellow cow and a leap of faith.
In 2008, Aarnout Helb, a young Dutch lawyer who studied at Leiden University, was reading the Holy Qur’an while trying to piece together a larger global narrative from a legal and artistic perspective.
While poring over the various passages in the holy book, he came across the story of the yellow cow from Surat Al-Baqarah.
It ignited something within him. After a quick internet search, a piece of art by a Saudi artist popped up — about that very same yellow cow mentioned in the Qur’an. He couldn’t believe his luck. He sent a message to the artist right away.
The artist wrote back. And that was how Helb serendipitously started his long relationship with Saudi artists which resulted in him creating the Greenbox Museum of Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia in Holland.
The artist who made the Yellow Cow piece was none other than world-renowned Saudi artist Dr. Ahmed Mater, who has since become his friend. Today, the book by Mater — with the yellow cow on the cover — sits proudly on the main table upon entering the museum space. Pieces from the yellow cow project have been acquired by Helb — and then some.
• In 2008, Aarnout Helb, a young Dutch lawyer who studied at Leiden University, was reading the Holy Qur’an while trying to piece together a larger global narrative from a legal and artistic perspective. While poring over the various passages in the holy book, he came across the story of the yellow cow from Surat Al- Baqarah.
• It ignited something within him. After a quick internet search, a piece of art by a Saudi artist popped up — about that very same yellow cow mentioned in the Qur’an. He couldn’t believe his luck. He sent a message to the artist right away.
• The artist wrote back. And that was how Helb serendipitously started his long relationship with Saudi artists which resulted in him creating the Greenbox Museum of Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia in Holland.
Helb is an unlikely connector to Saudi Arabia’s art scene. Today, at 58 years old, he’s a bit of an introvert, mostly working alone around his space, which he likes to refer to as his “cabinet of curiosities.”
He started to piece together the collection based on what captivated his imagination and fascinated his sensibilities.
After the constant misrepresentation in the news following the tragic events of 9/11, where several of the hijackers were Saudi-born, Helb kept that fascination tucked away until 2008 when he started to really see a shift in the world.
He refers to that time as a global “mental prison,” where Islam and the West seemingly couldn’t cooperate and he wanted to try and get to the bottom of things.
“I started this in a very complex way — it’s always difficult to explain, but it was influenced very much by 9/11. And the period after that, because I didn’t start right away. I started in 2008, which is much, much later but the world was in some kind of mental prison after that.
“You know, these ideas that Islam and the West — or whatever you call it — can’t work together. And to my mind, it made no sense for Holland within the NATO structure as friends of the US to try and reorganize Afghanistan into our vision of how a country should work,” he told Arab News.
“My knowledge about Saudi Arabia prior to this museum was very much influenced by the fact that I have Indonesian roots, and Indonesia is one of the largest Islamic countries in terms of population. And there has always been a very strong relationship between Holland from its Indonesian colonizing context — specifically the Hijaz region because of Makkah and Madinah — so we’ve been involved with making money and taking care of pilgrims at the same time,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia culturally is extremely important for the world — not because you have oil in Dhahran, not because in Riyadh you have a nice royal family; it’s important because people from all over the world travel to Makkah and Madinah,” Helb said.
His first visit to Saudi Arabia was in 2013 after many years of surrounding himself with the Kingdom’s art.
The reason the trip was delayed was because he was, and is, adamant at remaining independent. Every single piece in the collection was curated carefully and thoughtfully by him and not influenced by anyone else.
It’s hard to gauge how many pieces he has in the collection, because some are part of a series, but he estimates that he has over 100 works.
“Although the museum started in dead center Amsterdam, at some point, the space was not big enough for me. It was a rented space and I went looking to buy something within the budget I have, and this is a small warehouse, where the collection — which is not my private collection, I finance it privately — but it’s a public space for people to visit.
“It has statutes about what it should do. And the art, although owned by me, is bought with the statutes in mind. And it’s given into use to the foundation for public viewing and research. I take that seriously.”
According to Helb, three types of visitors typically came through the doors.
“The Dutch visitors come because I’m here; the international visitors who somehow find me and usually have some interest in the Middle East — they don’t come completely out of the blue — which happened more when I was still in the center because that was easy to come; and Saudis actually visiting … those I find most interesting because I learn about the art from them,” he said.
He has been to the kingdom several times since but his home base is in Holland.
Last year, Helb moved his museum to a remote location in Hoofddorp, where he took his own time unwrapping each piece and putting it in its new place — something he realized was a blessing.
Helb is still deciding on the exact shade he wants to paint the museum and isn’t sure if he wants to replicate the old wall’s tint, deliberating over the exact green hue that might grace the walls of the new Greenbox.
Ironically, and perhaps fittingly, the color green in the museum’s name was not chosen as a patriotic nod to the Saudi flag but rather due to a personal connection to Helb, who admired a painting in his home with a green tone which relaxed him.
The new location brought in a slew of unexpected visitors: Taxi drivers with origins in North Africa, many of whom reside on the outskirts of Amsterdam because it is more affordable.
Those Dutch nationals with strong pride in their Arab or Muslim roots usually don’t bike or use local public transport, so they come with their cars, park and just wander in.
The space is just a 15-minute drive from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, which is a five-hour flight from the closest Saudi city.
To schedule a visit or to find out more about the Saudi artists showcased in the museum, contact Helb via www.greenboxmuseum.com or on Instagram (@greenbox_museum).
 

source

Shop Sephari