Salma Tuqan.


LONDON - We have a saying in the Middle East that things get serious when women are involved. The growing Arab and Iranian contemporary art world is testament to this, where dynamic, artistic women are taking a lead. Mother and daughter team Abir and Salma Tuqan are a prime example.

I first met Abir and Salma at the opening edition of Art Dubai in March 2007. Abir was a Patron and Board member of the Fair, and Salma was Artistic Director of Contemparabia. They were both attending a session of the Sotheby's Institute Educational course and our meeting forged a lasting friendship. It was not difficult to be captivated by Abir's burning enthusiasm and her extraordinary sense of style. As for Salma, it was clear that she was destined for important things. A Cambridge History of Art graduate and sitting on a variety of Arab art-related Boards, Salma is today a key personality among the young generation of Arabs. Legally-trained Abir on the other hand, having come from a background of film and a collector family, lends her passionate support to a number of causes - especially to the Barakat Trust whose good works are increasingly making a mark in the region.

Abir Tuqan.

Mother and daughter are inviting us all to this week's 30 November Friday Late at the Victoria & Albert Museum. A series of exciting new art commissions, satirical films, live music and other activities to mark the V & A's Light from the Middle East: New Photography beckons us to "Record, Reframe, Resist"! I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday evening, and most importantly to re-connect with all my friends who will no doubt be there to support this wonderful mother and daughter in their dedication to the growing Middle East art scene. Be there!