London-based curator Maya El Khalil is joined by Lebanese artist Maha Nasrallah for a discussion about El Khalil’s vision for Perceptible Rhythms, Alternative Temporalities, exploring climate and sustainability in the Middle East featuring the works of 12 artists. The short Q&A will address the exhibition’s themes of sustainability, migration and exile in Nasrallah's work, as well as the power of the arts to raise awareness on those issues. The panel will be moderated by MEI Arts and Culture Center Director Lyne Sneige.
6:00pm-6:45pm | Panel and Q&A
6:45pm | Curator Tour
Maya El Khalil
Maya El Khalil is an independent curator, based in Oxford, UK who has worked extensively in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with artists, collectors and institutions to develop the identity and ideas that have defined a growing art scene. Her last exhibition, Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives, which she curated for the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation in 2022, celebrated 50 years of art in the UAE, showcasing over 100 artworks of more than 60 pivotal artists. For a complete biography, see the MEI website.
Maha Nasrallah is a Lebanese-Canadian architect, practicing in Beirut since 2002 and teaching part-time at the American University of Beirut’s School of Architecture since 2003. Nasrallah began experimenting with clay in 2010 and, from this, later co-founded the Bkerzay Pottery Workshop (est. 2011) an eco-friendly project in Baakline- Lebanon where she exhibits her work permanently. In 2017, Nasrallah won the Lebanese Architect Award for Sustainable Architecture and claimed first prize at the Age of Ceramics competition hosted by Lebanon’s Modern and Contemporary Art Museum (MACAM). Nasrallah’s recent works center around themes of self-exile and in-betweenness after her move to Montreal prompted by the recent acute economic crisis in her home country Lebanon.
Lyne Sneige, moderator
Lyne Sneige is the director of the Arts & Culture Center at the Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington, D.C., where she directs and manages the MEI Art Gallery and its related programming. Sneige joined MEI in 2014 to help develop its works in arts and culture and build a platform to amplify the voices of artists in the Middle East and its diaspora in Washington, D.C. and beyond. With her long experience in programming and her wide network in the Middle East region, Sneige has developed innovative and impactful programming at the intersection of arts and society and arts and policy and helped forge several partnerships to include D.C.-based galleries, museums, educational institutions and European cultural centers and embassies. Before joining MEI, Sneige had a long career at the British Council, the UK's international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Sneige is a Salzburg Global Seminar fellow, a nominator to the Agha Khan Music Awards and an advisor to the educational and outreach program of the Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA) that is set to open in 2026. She is president of the board of Action for Hope a regional NGO that provides cultural relief and cultural development programs to meet the social, cultural, and psychological needs of distressed and displaced communities. She has served on the selection committee of the Beirut Art Fair.