Our Leadership

Our leadership team is committed to expanding global understanding of Arab art and artists.

Photo of Zeina Arida, Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Zeina Arida

Director, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

An expert in the arts and culture and heritage sectors in the Arab world, with a focus on photography, archives and modern and contemporary art from the region, Arida previously directed the Sursock Museum. In charge of reopening the museum after a ten-year renovation and expansion project, she was able to put back the museum on the map, leading special projects – exhibitions, public programmes, library and archives programmes – and turning the museum into a prominent cultural landmark and a main actor on the local and international art scenes. Following the damage caused by the Beirut blast in 2020, she raised more than 2.5 million dollars for the reconstruction of the building and the restoration of the artworks.

From 1997 to 2014, she was the director of the Arab Image Foundation (AIF), which she led and developed, contributing to building this unique photographic collection and initiating a number of artistic and photographic preservation projects, among them the MEPPI, a strategic multi-year program designed to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the region’s photographic heritage.

Arida also provides expertise to international private and public institutions as well as consultation to arts and culture organizations, artists and projects. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of MUCEM, Marseille; a member of the Advisory Board of Darat al Funun, Amman; a member of the Arab Image Foundation; and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Art Mill Museum in Doha. She is a member of ICOM and CIMAM.

Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammad bin Ali Al Thani

President, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani is a Qatari artist, collector, researcher and educator in the field of modern art from the Arab world, India and Asia. Sheik Hassan studied "Art of the 20th Century" in a course at Qatar University in the mid-1980s. At that time, there was little information about Arab modern art, and there was not one single institution dedicated to Arab modern art in the whole region of the Middle East and North Africa. He then decided to build his own collection and expand his knowledge of Arab modern art by sponsoring and promoting Arab artists. Now his multi-billion-dollar art collection is one of the most valuable and extensive in the Middle East. He is Vice Chairperson of Qatar Museums, Advisor for Cultural Affairs at Qatar Foundation, and founder of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.

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