December 1, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Middle East Institute
1763 N St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 (Map)

6:30-7:15pm | Art Talk
7:15-7:30pm | Gallery tour
Refreshments will be served

As part of First Friday ArtWalk Dupont, the Middle East Institute Arts and Culture Center invites you to the opening of its latest exhibition, The Sea Of Life: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Co-curated by Bahrain-based Hayfa Aljishi and MEI Arts and Culture Center Director Lyne Sneige, the exhibition features fourteen artists spanning different generations and art forms exploring their connection to their natural and built environment through painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation. The thirty featured artworks offer a glimpse into the legacy of Bahrain’s pioneering artists, the evolving arts scene and the ways in which younger generations are exploring new artistic expressions.

The evening will also feature an art talk with participating artists Mariam AlNoaimi, Jamal AlYousif, Ghada Khunji and curator Hayfa Aljishi moderated by Lyne Sneige, followed by a tour of the exhibition.

The show is sponsored by the National Arts Council in Bahrain and the RAK Art Foundation, and will be up until March 26, 2024. The MEI Art Gallery's regular hours are Monday-Friday from 10:00am - 5:00pm.

Participating artists: Rashid Al Khalifa, Marwa Al Khalifa, Mohammed Al Mahdi, Mariam AlNoaimi, Jaafar Al Oraibi, Abdul Karim Al-Orrayed, Mashael Alsaie, Jamal AlYousif, Nasser AlYousif, Ebrahim Bu Saad, Balqees Fakhro, Aysha Hafuz, Ghada Khunji, Abbas Yousif.

Featured Speakers

Hayfa AljishiHayfa Aljishi is the founder of Albareh Art Gallery in Bahrain (1988), one of the first platforms in the Gulf promoting Middle Eastern artists globally. Aljishi holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, an MBA from Imperial College London and an Islamic Art intensive with Sotheby’s London.


Mariam AlnoaimiMariam AlNoaimi is a Bahrain-based artist, her research-based practice examines questions around cartography, the built and natural environment, identity, memory, and storytelling. AlNoaimi holds a master's degree in Urban Design from the University of Colorado, Denver. She was awarded in 2021 and 2022 at the Bahrain Fine Art Annual Exhibition.

Jamal AlYousifJamal AlYousif is a Bahraini artist focusing on socially conscious sculptures centered around the human condition. His work is housed in esteemed collections across the Gulf and the United States. AlYousif is a graduate of at Cogswell Polytechnical School and the College of Marin in San Francisco, and contributes to Bahrain’s cultural scene through regular exhibitions.

Ghada KhunjiGhada Khunji is Bahraini based photographer and a graduate of the Parsons School of Design and the International Center of Photography's Documentary Program in New York. An award winning photographer, her work is known for depicting landscapes and people from all over the world and for capturing the inherent dignity of the human element.

Lyne SnigeLyne Sneige (moderator) is the director of the Arts and Culture Center at the Middle East Institute where she directs and manages the MEI Art Gallery and its related programming. Sneige has over 20 years of experience in cultural development in the Middle East and is a strong advocate of the role of the arts in society.




Sponsored By



Featured Art Work:
Ebrahim Bu Saad, The Lovers (1999), 79 x 59"
Courtesy of the RAK Art Foundation, on view at the MEI Art Gallery