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Syra Arts Collaboration with Caravan

(Cairo, Washington D.C., New York City)

An Intercultural and Inter-religious Arts Initiative Bringing the Middle East and West Together for a New World

Cairo, Egypt, 19 April 2014

As Egypt steps into her future, the 6th CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art will open in Cairo on June 17, 2014. The 2014 CARAVAN exhibition will result in an unprecedented gathering of renowned Egyptian and Western artists coming together to use art as a bridge for intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. Through the sponsorship of SODIC, the theme for this year’s CARAVAN exhibition, “AMEN-A Prayer for the World,” is an aspirational expression of hope and goodwill coming “out of Egypt” for the peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world.

As a previous CARAVAN guest Ahdaf Soueif, the Booker Prize short-listed novelist, refers to Egypt, “Mother of civilization . . . ,” the vision for this CARAVAN exhibition is for the Middle East and the West to embody the spirit of intercultural and interreligious solidarity that was so beautifully illustrated for the world by Egyptians during the “January 25, 2011 Revolution.”

CARAVAN, an international intercultural and inter-religious arts non-profit, begun in 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, has the objective of building bridges through the arts between the creeds and cultures the Middle East and West. One of the flagship initiatives of CARAVAN is the globally recognized annual interfaith CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art. This unique exhibition brings together many of the Middle East’s premier and emerging artists to enhance understanding, respect, and deepen friendship between those of different faiths and cultures through the arts.

Each year the CARAVAN interfaith arts exhibition has garnered attention from the international press, media and art world, attracting thousands of visitors. In 2013, many thousands of Egyptians and foreigners viewed CARAVAN’s public art exhibition of painted donkeys (symbolizing “Peace and Compassion”) by premier artists from the Middle East and West, first throughout Cairo, followed by an estimated 120,000 people visiting CARAVAN’s exhibition in London, England at the world renowned St. Paul’s Cathedral. The London exhibition was followed by a charity auction of the artwork led by a Sotheby’s auctioneer for funding charities in Egypt assisting the poor irrespective of creed.

The 2014 CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art will focus on Egypt and the United States. Entitled "AMEN--A Prayer for the World,” 48 premier and emerging artists (30 Egyptian-both Muslim and Christian, and 18 Western--Christian and Jewish) have been invited to participate in this unique visual art exhibition to be opened first in Cairo, Egypt on June 17 in the grounds of the Cairo Opera House, followed by exhibitions in the United States during the fall/winter season in Washington D.C. at the world-renowned National Cathedral, and then in New York City at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.

Each of the 48 participating artists will be given a life-size fiberglass sculpture in one of four poses of prayer to paint or decorate as they wish. The ‘model’ for the sculptural prayer form is Amun, the deity of ancient Thebes in the 11th dynasty (c. 21st century BC) who is considered the first to develop religion toward monotheism. The four sculptural forms therefore communicate a modern essence of Amun, each depicted with his face. In this exhibition the historic figure of “Amun” is being associated with the word “Amen,” an affirmation commonly used to conclude Christian, Muslim and Jewish prayers or blessings.

For the exhibition in Cairo, the 30 Amun figures painted by Egyptian artists will be on display. Then the 30 painted Amun figures by Egyptian artists will travel to the United States and join with 18 Amun figures painted by Western artists for a joint exhibition held first in Washington D.C. and then in New York City.

With the theme “AMEN—A Prayer for the World,” the exhibition seeks to express the deep, fundamental human acknowledgement of power and hope in the universe, for all peoples. While the peoples of the Middle East and West may express prayer differently, it is a commonality that unites us all, serving as a “universal bridge.”

To express this commonality of prayer, the four different poses of prayer in a life-size 3D fiberglass human form have been sculpted for this exhibition by the noted Egyptian artist Reda Abdel Rahman (who sculpted the donkey form used for the 2013 CARAVAN exhibition) symbolizing human diversity, community and the many forms that prayer can take.

The exhibition is co-curated by CARAVAN Founder/President, Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler and celebrated Egyptian artist Reda Abdel Rahman. The participating artists include a diverse range of premier Egyptian contemporary artists, from renowned veterans such as Farghaly Abdel Hafiz, Ahmed Shiha, Mohamed Shaker,to rising younger artists such as Marwa Adel and Karim Abdel Malak.

As an artistic group from Egypt and the West, they are making a statement that they are together praying for peace, justice and well-being for all in our world.

2014 PROGRAM of the CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art 
(June 17 through December 2014)

*Opening Night of the CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art— June 17 (Tuesday) at 7 PM (19h00) in the gallery at the Cairo Opera House grounds Opening presentations will be made by dignitaries. All 30 fiberglass sculptures by Egyptian artists will be exhibited with the artists present.

The exhibition will be open at the Cairo Opera House grounds from June 17 through July 1.

Exhibition at National Cathedral in Washington D.C. followed by an exhibition in New York City at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. All 48 sculptures by Egyptian and Western artists will be exhibited together. This will be followed by a charity auction of the artwork in New York City by a Sotheby’s auctioneer for the Egyptian charity Tawasol.

*Washington D.C.: August 30 - October 6, 2014—National Cathedral

*New York City: October 12 – November 16—The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The participating visual artists include:

Egyptian Artists

The list of 30 Egyptian artists includes renowned, established and emerging visual artists, as well as men and women, and Muslim and Christian.

Ahmed Shiha Khaled Sorour
Ahmed Abdel Krim Karim Abdel Malak
Amr El Kafrawy Maha George
Ammar Abou Bakr Mahmoud Hamdy
Ahmed Talal Marwa Adel
Dahlia Refaat Mohamed Abou El Naga
Emad Abdel Wahab Mohamed Abla
Farghaly Abdel Hafiz Mohamed El Masry
Farid Fadel Mohamed Shaker
Gamil Shafik Neveen Taher
Gamal Lamie Reda Abdel Rahman
Hamdy Reda Salah El Meligy
Hossam Sakr Souad Abdel Rasoul
Hesham Nawwar Tarek El Sheikh
Hisham El Zeiny Wael Darwish


Western Artists

18 prominent Western artists (of Christian and Jewish background) are being invited to participate from the US, England and France.

CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art
Founder/President, Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler Facebook—visit us at: CARAVAN Festival of the Arts

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Paul-Gordon Chandler at email:

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