My Work and Personal Highlights of 2018

Last year I shared a list of things I worked on and found it was a good exercise to reflect on what I did and achieved. I would like to do the same this year, and include my travel highlights too.

Here’s a run down by month:

Tea with Culture, the podcast I run with Wael Hattar turned 3 and we threw a breakfast birthday party at Tashkeel.


Fulfilled my wish of visiting an English seaside town in winter. I went to Eastbourne to attend the Overnight Film Festival and had an awesome time.

Watched Phantom Thread twice in one week in London, on 75mm and 35mm.

Went to Amsterdam for a few days before getting on a train to Berlin.

Attended my 3rd Berlinale.

I moderated a talk titled The Importance of Short Films in the Arab World at NYU Abu Dhabi. It was part of an event organised by Abu Dhabi Festival.

Interviewed the writer Asma Al Zarooni for Brownbook magazine, for the Sharjah issue (unfortunately Brownbook shut down before printing this issue)

Went to Hong Kong to attend the Hong Kong Film Festival, mainly for the Lucreia Martel retrospective. All of her 4 films are remarkable.

Presented a series of short films for NYUAD Art Gallery, as part of an event for the exhibition Permanent Temporariness: Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, curated by Salwa Mikdadi and Bana Kattan.

Watched First Reformed twice in one week in New York.

Attended my brother’s MFA graduation ceremony at RISD in Providence.

Curated my first film series titled Cinem’Art for Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Attended my 2nd Il Cinema Ritrovato film festival in Bologna.


Revamped this blog.

Collaborated with Tulip Hazbar for a research based exhibition titled Last Days of Disco, part of Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Projects summer residency.

Curated my second film series for Louvre Abu Dhabi, this time a series of films linked to the Japanese Connections exhibition.

Appeared in a film made by a friend, Weeks in the West End by Ian Mantgani. An endearing and reflective love letter to the London Film Festival, the city and the community of cinephiles that cross paths during the festival. I was also glad I was able to attend its premiere screening at Prince Charles Cinema in London.

Attended my 4th BFI London Film Festival.

Watched Dawson City: Frozen Time on 35mm at the Cinema Museum. It was a lovely and special night I will never forget. Some more about it here.

Became an aunt for the fifth time.

Was invited to participate in the Letters exhibition in Manaret Al Saadiyat by showing my Dancing Girls video.

Lent my voice for Cinema Island, a video installation by Marisa Lewandowska commissioned by Abu Dhabi Art for an exhibition titled Structures of Meaning | Architectures of Perception exhibited in Manaret Al Saadiyat.

Wrote and recorded an audio piece for the Waterlicht installation for the opening week of Jameel Arts Centre.

Really enjoyed recording this discussion about the Kuwaiti film Bas Ya Bahr / The Cruel Sea for Tea with Culture.

Went to Paris to attend the Youssef Chahine film retrospective at La Cinematheque Francaise.

Enjoyed experiencing watching films in various cinemas in Paris.

Watched Claire Denis’ latest film High Life twice in Paris.

Attended a few days of the Singapore Film Festival, but I was mainly there to see Hu Bo’s An Elephant Sitting Still and it was worth it.

Cinem’Art, the film series I curated for Louvre Abu Dhabi in the summer was nominated and then shortlisted for a Pride of Abu Dhabi award, an award voted by the people. It diddn’t win, but I am forever grateful for whoever nominated it in the first place and to everyone that voted.