Exhibition: ‘Parallel Orientalism’ by Fatima Abbadi

The Arab British Centre proudly presents ‘Parallel Orientalism’, a photographic exhibition by renowned artist Fatima Abbadi.

‘The work of Fatima Abbadi in her “Parallel Orientalism” locates itself right at the core of this complex issue of representing [the Orient], but Fatima’s artistic production skillfully and powerfully produces an image and imaginary of the Orient that speaks back to the stigmas without falling into, but rather taking distance, from the “orientalist” genre.

Fatima’s work of art is courageous and poetic. Her photography captures the nude and raw reality of the “Orient”, its daily life, its streets and activities, its women and men, old, young, rich, modern, traditional, poor, with a unique and gracious gaze that never essentialises or reifies its subjects or objects. Perhaps the magical touch of Fatima’s pictures lies in the fact that there are no ideological or apologetic messages in her art. Fatima’s camera seems like an affectionate eye, that watches moments of daily life as they unfold and flow, and renders them with simultaneous simplicity and intensity.

And yet, what is most persuasive is Fatima’s decision to display pictures of women and men, nature, spaces and places across cultures and countries. Gestures, expressions, activities seem to lose their geographical location and what we see is an harmonious sense of differences and similarities, the fluidity of the ordinary, an artistic and much needed display of a shared humanity. Most of all, in Fatima’s pictures we see the majestic beauty of ordinary gestures, spaces, places, faces and the poetics of daily life and of ordinary people in the Arab and Islamic world and beyond.’

This text, written by Ruba Salih, is an extract from ‘Orientalismi Paralleli’, Abbadi’s exhibition book which will be available for purchase throughout the exhibition.


16 Nov 2015|Press View |2:30-5:30 pm

17-27 Nov 2015|Public Viewing|10-5pm


On Monday 23 Nov the exhibition will be open from 2:30-5:30 pm


28 Nov-11 Dec 2015|By Appointment|10-5pm






For press information, please contact:


Rosa Pérez +44 (0)20 7832 1310


Fatima Abbadi (1978) is an Italian – Jordanian Palestinian freelance photographer raised in Abu Dhabi (U.A.E) and based in Italy since 1997.

Her passion for photography started when Fatima’s father gave her a camera at the age of 13. Eager to learn, she began reading manuals and studying photography books, rapidly developing a profound understanding of pictures, their meaning and the powerful message they carry.

In 2007 Fatima enrolled in a photography course at MIGNON Group in Italy and eventually became a member in 2009.

Abbadi uses an analogue camera in black and white for all her work. In addition to the exhibitions with MIGNON Group, Fatima Abbadi has had solo exhibitions around the world: “Portraits”, Padova (Italy), 2008 “Women Through My Lens” Amman (Jordan) 2011 under the patronage of the Italian Embassy, Rome (Cloister of Bramante) 2011, Padua (Gallery Samonà) 2012. “Orientalism: A reinterpretation” Asolo (Fantadia International Festival of Multivision) 2013. “Parallel Orientalism” 2014 Mestre (Candiani) and Abano Terme.




Arabic Language Courses

Arab British Centre are delighted to present the Arabic Language Courses September – November 2015!

14 September – 13 October:

Level 1 MSA | Level 2 MSA | Levantine Spoken Arabic Level 1

19 October – 17 November:

Level 2 MSA | Level 3 MSA | Levantine Spoken Arabic Level 2

5 week courses | 10 hours


The Arab British Centre Presents Arabic Language Courses for September – November 2015!

Our Arabic language classes are taught by Ibrahim Othman who has several years’ experience of teaching Arabic at a variety of levels, both in his native Syria and in the UK.

If you have any questions about which level is most suitable for you, or would like to sign up, feel free to drop us a line at

When calling or emailing us about these courses, please make sure to indicate which dates/times you wish to join (if applicable).

Our courses all cost £140 each. Your place on the course will only be confirmed on receipt of the course fee in full.

Please also note that we have a list of FAQs which can be found here.

Below is the list of courses being offered between September – November 2015.

Scroll down for further details on each course.

14 September – 13 October |5 week courses| 10 hours

Level 1 MSA


Mondays & Tuesdays

14 September – 13 October | 5 weeks | 10 hours

Course Fee: £140


Level 2 MSA

18:00 – 20:00


14 September – 12 October | 5 weeks | 10 hours

Course Fee: £140


Levantine Spoken Arabic Level 1

18:00 – 20:00


15 September – 13 October | 5 weeks | 10 hours

Course Fee: £140


19 October – 17 November | 5 week courses | 10 hours

Level 2 MSA

13:00 – 14:00

Mondays & Tuesdays

19 October – 17 November | 5 weeks | 10 hours

Course Fee: £140


Level 3 MSA

18:00 – 20:00


19 October – 16 November | 5 weeks | 10 hours

Course Fee: £140


Levantine Spoken Arabic Level 2

18:00 – 20:00


20 October – 17 November | 5 weeks | 10 hours

Course Fee: £140


Level 1 MSA

This course is designed to give absolute beginners in Arabic a basic competence in reading, listening, speaking and writing skills in a dynamic and communicative way, to converse in basic everyday situations in Arabic and also to introduce the written form of the language.


  • Your family, work, describing people and objects

  • Places and countries

  • Nationalities

  • Basic grammar, nouns, verbs, word order and numbers, starting to build up confidence in speaking Arabic

  • Background to Arab culture

Course entry and do I need any particular skills (who is it for)?

Suitable for complete beginners, also suitable for students who have attended a previous course in Arabic or have a basic knowledge of the language but who would like to start again from the beginning.

Level 2 MSA

The course is a progression from our Level 1 MSA course, designed for those with some previous experience of Arabic, who can recognise the Arabic alphabet and engage in basic conversation, but who lack a basic understanding of the grammar system. The course will consolidate the basics and cover descriptions, countries and people, nationalities, shopping, and using cultural expressions in a variety of contexts.


  • The past tense and present tenses in Arabic (regular and weak verbs)

  • Possessives, comparison, numbers with counted noun

  • Family, relations and friends

  • Preferences/likes/dislikes and hobbies

  • Expand knowledge of Arabic vocabulary

  • Arabic texts containing high frequency lexis and basic structures

  • Write a short personal text or letter about familiar subjects

Course entry and do I need any particular skills (who is it for)?

This course is suitable to those who have finished our level 1 MSA course, but it’s also suitable for students who have attended a previous course in Arabic and are able to read and write basic Arabic sentences.

How will I be taught?

The course is based on the communicative approach:

  • Active students’ interaction

  • Emphasis on speaking and listening skills

  • Paired and group work

  • Role playing

  • Use of pictures and authentic material

  • Use of audio-visual techniques when appropriate

Level 3 MSA

The course is a progression from our Level 2 MSA course, designed for those who have some knowledge of Arabic and can read and write Arabic. The course will consolidate the basics and reinforce old vocabulary by covering grammar, numbers, colours, descriptions, dialects, countries and people, and the use of cultural expressions in a variety of contexts. It will also cover more advanced grammar topics such as the subjunctive.


  • Day to day routine : Taking a taxi, exploring and using public transport

  • Visiting a city: This topic involves someone’s experience visiting a city and describing the visit.

  • Arab restaurants in London: describing Arabic food and Arabic culture

  • A trip to the Middle East:

  • Taking a taxi

  • Shopping in Cairo

  • Exploring new places

  • Asking for directions


  • Present tense

  • Past tense

  • Subjective phase 1

  • Adjectives

  • Broken plurals

Course entry and do I need any particular skills (who is it for)?

This course is suitable for those students who are able to read, write and make simple sentences in Arabic and understand the past tense at least.

How will I be taught?

The book that will be used for the course is Mastering Arabic 1 along with other resources such as:

  • Role play activities

  • Pair and group work

  • Use of poems, songs and pictures

  • Use of audio-visual techniques when appropriate

Levantine Spoken Arabic 1 (Dialect)

This is a Levantine Spoken Arabic course. The course is tailored to focus on speaking Arabic and it follows a communicative approach to language teaching.

Course entry and do I need any particular skills (who is it for)?

This course is aimed at students who have studied or know a little bit of Levantine Arabic (colloquial Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian Arabic) and is suitable for those who are absolute beginners too.


  • Presentations, Introducing yourself, country of origin, etc

  • Daily conversations

  • Taking a taxi

  • Checking in a hotel

  • Eating out

  • Shopping

  • Asking for directions

  • Asking for help

Grammar: Subject pronouns, possessive pronouns, nouns (masculine, feminine) adjectives, past and present tense.

How will I be taught?

The course will be taught using English transliteration with an introduction to the Arabic writing system (Arabic alphabet) and you will be able to read short sentences and road signs.

The teacher will provide all the materials for the course. He will use “Ahla wa sahla” a functional course in spoken Arabic.

Levantine Spoken Arabic Level 2 (Dialect)

This course is a continuation of our Levantine Spoken Arabic Level 1 and develops all aspects of Arabic Language including speaking, pronunciation, listening, reading and writing. It’s suitable for those who have completed the Levantine Spoken Arabic Level 1 Course or who have prior/basic knowledge of Arabic. Students are expected to be able to understand and hold basic conversations in spoken Arabic.

This course will cover:

  • Speaking, pronunciation & listening – expressing opinions, covering more vocabulary on specific topics (below) starting from daily basis conversation and gradually become able to hold a more advanced conversation

  • Learning idiomatic phrases

  • More advanced grammar: present simple tense, present continues, the passive, the active participle, the subjunctive, faعlan adjectives form

  • Read and write Arabic script. Be able to read short sentences, road and transport signs


  • Conversation: we’re very hungry p.127

  • Function A: Counting things

  • Function B: Ordering at a restaurant, hotel

  • Function C&E: Expressing feelings and people

  • Functions B to E/Ch:5: Going out and shopping (food and clothes)

Teaching Method:

  • Interactive speaking method (communicative approach)

  • Grammar based

  • Translation and equivalence

  • Lessons will be supported with audio-visual materials when appropriate

What is required from participants?

  • Flashcards (to be used every session)

  • 3 coloured pens

  • 2 notebooks


Creative Calligraphy Course

Arab British Centre thrilled to announce the Creative Calligraphy Course with Lebanese Artist Joumana Medlej starting in September 2015!

9 September – 1 November

Wednesdays 18:00 – 20:00

Sept: 9-16-23 | Oct: 7-14-21

Final Project Sunday 1 November 14:00 – 18:00

6 Weeks + 4 hours final project – 16 Hours

Course Fee – £205



Course description:

In this non-traditional calligraphy course, we will not use reed pens and repetitive copying. Instead, we will return to the original source of Arabic calligraphy, the Kufi family of styles, and study it with a modern design approach. Kufi was the first Arabic script to be consciously made beautiful, an unlike the later round scripts with their strict rules, it can be constantly reinvented and is not tied to any given tool or medium. Students, then, can benefit from the same creative freedom that the earliest calligraphers enjoyed, and find their own approach to the art of Arabic calligraphy.

We will learn the essence of the letters and how it expresses itself in different styles; spacing, proportions and the uniquely Arabic concept of kashida; compositional approaches including the highly specialized Square Kufic. Each of these design notions will be accompanied by a practical exercise to anchor the theory and allow students to learn from each other. The course will culminate in a final project where the student chooses a word or phrase and creates their own composition for it. Examples of final projects are shown below.


About Joumana Medlej:

Joumana was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. A graphic designer by training, she learned the essence of the Kufi script from master calligrapher Samir Sayegh, through years of close collaboration. She learned to breathe new life into a traditional art, not merely copying or reviving its old forms but finding a contemporary language for it. She is especially interested in the unique relationship between Kufi and geometry, both sacred arts. She now lives in London where her study of these fields is ongoing.

See more at

To register for the class, please email or call on 020 7832 1310

For general and specific FAQs, please see here



09/09/2015 6:00 pm
01/11/2015 6:00 pm
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