Weekly Regional Brief
LONDON HOSTS ITS LARGEST ARAB ART EXHIBIT
JULY 20 — Christie’s, a London auction house, is showing “Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World,” with artworks spanning from 1939 to 2023. Curated by Tunisian Ridha Moumni, the exhibition is split into two parts. The first draws from the UAE’s Barjeel Art Foundation, whose collection represents artists across the region. The second section, which is a collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, focuses solely on Emirati contemporary art.
According to Moumni, the exhibit’s “goal was to display this art, both for the people from our region, and also for the London public and visitors.”
The exhibit is on display from July 20 to August 23.
ABU DHABI REVEALS LARGEST SUPERCOMPUTER FOR AI
JULY 20 — Abu Dhabi is helping to create the world’s largest supercomputer for artificial intelligence (AI) training. Known as Condor Galaxy, the project is a partnership between Abu Dhabi’s G42, an AI and cloud computing company, and the American firm Cerebras Systems. It will be a network of nine supercomputers, the first of which (CG-1) has just now been launched.
Talal Alkaissi, the chief executive of G42 Cloud, commented, “in the UAE, there’s a national AI plan, part of which is to use AI to improve productivity at all levels across the government and economy.” G42 is already studying how AI can improve health care, sports, space exploration, energy, and more.
QU’RAN DESECRATIONS SPARK ANGER IN MUSLIM NATIONS
JULY 21 — After several desecrations of the Qur’an, most recently on Thursday in Stockholm by an Iraqi Christian, Muslim nations have expressed their outrage. In response to the events in Sweden, Iraq expelled the Swedish ambassador from Baghdad, as well as recalling the Iraqi charge d’affaires from Stockholm. Protests turned violent in Iraq on Thursday as demonstrators set a fire in the Swedish Embassy, a day after the embassy staff were evacuated.
Meanwhile, Kuwait has banned exports to countries where Qur’an burnings take place, and protests are being organized in Lebanon and Iran.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani declared: “We consider the Swedish government responsible for the outcome of provocation reactions from the world’s Muslims.”
MOROCCO LOSES TO GERMANY IN WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
JULY 24 — Germany (ranked 2nd) beat Morocco (ranked 72nd) 6-0 in the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Morocco is the first Arab nation to play in the Women’s World Cup, not long after its men’s team made history in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Next, the Moroccan team, nicknamed ‘Atlas Lionesses,’ will face South Korea on July 30.
Morocco’s first women’s soccer team was formed in 1997.