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Design in Arabic

  • Date iconJuly 29 2023 - June 29 2024
  • Curator: Rami Tareef
          Assistant curator: Natalie Peselev Stern
  • Designer: Neil Nenner
  • Design Pavilion

The exhibition Design in Arabic celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Museum's Department of Design and Architecture, and is the first in the Museum's history to be entirely dedicated to artists from Israel's Arab community.

Up until a decade ago, artistically inclined students from the Arab community in Israel tended to study art or architecture; the five participants of this exhibition thus represent a new phenomenon of practitioners in the fields of design. They are part of a new generation that not only rebels against a traditional establishment, but seeks to itself become an influential, uncompromising social force.

These artists enlist the universal language of design to sound a clear and courageous voice on the most urgent issues in Arab society in Israel today – the rights of Arab women, sexuality, gender, and violence – without sidelining more traditional, national-political issues, such as the Nakba, the refugee experience, or the complex gaze on the native landscape. Instead, they offer a new prioritization of these issues. 


Designers: Sophie Abu Shakrah, Shady Francis Majlaton, Samah Batheesh, Hazar Grably, Gadeer Slayeh

,Gadeer Slayeh, born Israel, Eilabun, 1988
Belonging?, 2023
Laser-cut and gilt brass, white mesh sleeve, brass beads, pearls 
Collection of the designer


Hazar Grably, born Israel, Jaffa, 1990
Haram, 2023
Cotton-thread embroidery and colored flocked screen print on tulle 
 Collection of the designer
Samah Batheesh, born Israel, Mas'ade, 1984
Soft as Basalt, 2021
Cast brass 
Collection of the designer 


Shady Francis Majlaton, born Nazareth, 1993
Motherhood, 2023
Peau d'ange and black lace 
Collection of the designer
Sophie Abu Shakra, born Israel, Umm al-Fahm, 1996
Window, 2023
CNC-machined painted MDF panel and laser-engraved plexiglass  
Collection of the designer
Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Elie Posner