The Collector: Minister of State in the UAE Government Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh

Laura Cherrie Beaney, Harper's Bazaar, December 1, 2020

Minister of State in the UAE Government Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh’s vast MENASA art collection forms a sublime space where cultures and generations convene.


The art-filled home of collector and Minister of State, Zaki Nusseibeh forms a visual register which chronicles the shifting social and political landscape of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA). In the context of his home, his artworks take on lifelike form, flowing out from every cranny amidst the cultural advisor’s extensive library of several thousand texts which span the seven languages that he has mastered. H.E. has been central to culture and the arts in the UAE since the 70s; holding a series of high-ranking positions in government, leading up to his current role in the UAE Cabinet, but he has been a passionate collector of art since his youth.

The art of the region has often been portrayed as monolithic yet H.E. Zaki’s collection overturns this notion, providing a nuanced and eclectic insight into the perspectives of artists spanning generations and cultures.

Walking through it you’re struck by the early work of pioneering Syrian expressionist Louay Kayali, before being confronted by the searching meditations on power and memory of contemporary Palestinian visual artist, Hazem Harb. Moving on through the hallways the fusion of Western pop art with the Egyptian-Armenian cultural heritage of Chant Avedissian is displayed, followed by giant hanging prayer beads by Saudi feminist artist Manal Al Dowayan. It’s an environment which compels cultural contemplation.


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