Exploring Paul Gauguin’s Search for the ‘Primitive’ in Tahiti

Gauguin in Tahiti

In April 2024, I was reading Gauguin’s journal of his time in Tahiti, in preparation for a seminar I was to give to passengers on the cruise ship Ovation of the Seas. Little did I realize how transformative this selection would be.

Calligraphy as Identity: Defining Arabness in Script

Defining Arabness in Script

When a line makes its way from a 1919 poem by Kahlil Gibran to a 1965 melody sung by Fairuz to a calligraphic piece by the Dubai-based artist Majid al-Yousef, who set the words down in the diwani script that goes back half a millennium — this is "Arabness."