Events and

Global Perspectives on Islamic Art Today

Panel Discussion
25 November 2020, 6:00PM (GMT+3)
Bahrain National Museum
Panel Discussion via Zoom - Registration is required

Islamic Art is not a monotheistic style or movement; it spans 1,400 years of history with incredible geographic diversity. This panel discussion aims to navigate the large territory of what is considered Islamic art while discussing its definition, how audiences and the general public engage with it today and what opportunities and possibilities lie ahead. Speakers are Head Curatorial Affairs at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia Dr. Heba Barakat, Interim Director of Aga Khan Museum Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis, and Director of The Barakat Trust Mr. Seif El-Rashidi.



Dr. Heba Nayel Barakat - Head of Curatorial Affairs of the Islamic Art Museum – Malaysia

Art Historian and Museum Specialist, Dr. Barakat supervises the refurbishment of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia’s permanent galleries, research artefacts in the collection and supervises temporary exhibitions. She was a graduate of the American University in Cairo with a BA in Islamic Art and Architecture. She received her MA from the Department of the History of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara-Turkey and a PhD from the Oriental Institute, Moscow. She worked at the Centre of Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Cairo, as a Project Manager where she research and document Cairo’s 19th century and early 20th century presidential palaces. She has also documented the early Islamic papyrus collection and the Persian illuminated and illustrated collections at the Egyptian National Library (Dar al-Kutub). She authored and contributed in over 40 publications. Currently she has an on-going exhibition at the British Museum titled “The Arabesque; An Introduction” and is working on an exhibition at Tokyo National Museum to be launched in July 2021. Her expertise in working and managing museums springs off her museum career for the past 20 years.


Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis - Interim Director of the Aga Khan Museum - Canada
Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis is a well-known museum professional and academic in the field of Islamic art, with over 25 years of experience as a curator and senior advisor for museum and cultural projects. She currently serves as Interim Director and Director of Collections and Public Programs at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada. Before coming to Toronto, she worked as Co-Director of the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization as well as Senior Strategic Advisor to the Sharjah Museums Department in the UAE from 2007 – 2017. She began her career in Scotland, where she worked as Principal Curator for South Asia and the Middle East at the National Museums of Scotland from 1999 to 2007 and Curator for Muslim Art and Culture at Glasgow Museums from 1994 to 1999. Dr. Al-Khamis holds a PhD in Islamic art from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


Seif El-Rashidi - Director

Barakat Trust - United Kingdom
Seif El Rashidi is an architectural historian with 20 years of expertise working on heritage preservation and managing projects related to promoting public engagement with heritage and culture. Seif was formerly the Project Manager of Layers of London (2016-2020), developed by the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London; Project Manager at the Guildhall Library (2016-2018); Magna Carta Programme Manager for Salisbury Cathedral (2014-2016); the coordinator of Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (2008-2014); a team member of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Darb Al-Ahmar Revitalisation Project in Cairo (1997-2008) and at Ahmad Hamid Architects (1995-1997). Seif has been a technical reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s heritage projects since 2013, and was on the World Monuments Fund Project Selection Committee for 2019. He is an an advisory member of the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund. Since 2018, he has developed a dynamic cultural heritage programme in London in partnership with Asia House, Leighton House, The Arab British Centre, London Craft Week, among others.
He studied City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics (Msc), History of Art and Architecture (MA) and Economics (BA) at the American University in Cairo.
He is the co-author (with Sam Bowker) of The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s Medieval and Modern Applique Craft (AUC Press, 2018)