Join us for a conversation about the climate crisis in the Middle East; its impact on resources and communities; and the role that regional artists and civil society actors are playing in helping encourage greater public awareness and activism. Panel speakers will provide an overview of the challenges facing the region and the urgent need for action, as well as explore how the region's arts communities are addressing questions of climate change and the need for greater sustainability to help impact positive change.
Maya Khalil, the curator of MEI’s current exhibit on climate and sustainability, Perceptible Rhythms, Alternative Temporalities, presented with the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, will be joined by Mohammed Mahmoud, MEI Director of the Climate and Water Program and Lama El Hatow climate specialist at the International Finance Corporation and a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. The conversation will be moderated by journalist and producer, Rhana Natour.
Light lunch served at 11:30am.
Lama El Hatow
Lama El Hatow has 13 years of work experience in the Environmental field, 9 of which are as an Environmental and Social Specialist at IFC (part of the World Bank Group) working on projects in sectors including Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Services and Financial Markets. Lama’s specialization is in climate change and water resources with a specific emphasis on trans-boundary water management. She has worked on a wide range of projects across the Middle East and North Africa as well as a few projects in Sub-Saharan Africa including Mozambique and Nigeria.
Mohammed Mahmoud is the Director of the Climate and Water Program and a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute. His expertise includes climate change adaptation, water policy analysis, and scenario planning. Mohammed has held leadership positions in several organizations, most recently as chair of the Water Utility Climate Alliance. Prior to that, Mohammed was president of the North American Weather Modification Council. Mohammed has conducted water-management research and work for the MENA region, most extensively on the Nile River Basin.
Maya El Khalil
Maya El Khalil is an independent curator, based in Oxford, UK who has worked extensively in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with artists, collectors and institutions to develop the identity and ideas that have defined a growing art scene. Her last exhibition, Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives, which she curated for the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation in 2022, celebrated 50 years of art in the UAE, showcasing over 100 artworks of more than 60 pivotal artists.
Rhana Natour, moderator
Rhana Natour is a journalist and TV producer based in Washington D.C. Her work has appeared in PBS NewsHour, Vice and ABC News. As a reporter and producer for the PBS NewsHour, she's covered both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, breaking news events like the El Paso shooting and produced deep dive stories on technology, gender and race. Rhana was a news fellow and associate producer at ABC News where she earned an Emmy nomination for her work on the Nightline special "Crisis in Syria."
Image Credit: Hot Springs, Jordan (2017) by Nadia Bseiso. Currently on view at the MEI Art Gallery.