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Complementing the SAF new art spaces in Al Mureijah are a number of restored traditional houses (baits), coral stone enclosures and courtyards used for exhibitions and public programmes.
Al Mureijah is a historic district of Sharjah that dates back over 200 years. Until the 1960s, the neighbourhood was a residential area made up of clusters of courtyard houses separated by narrow alleyways. The area currently extends from the section of Sharjah Creek where Al Zahra Mosque is located to the reconstructed city walls. It is being reconstructed following the original urban structure. Several old buildings are already restored or were rebuilt on the wall remains. In other cases, only the external walls are reconstructed until now.
Together with these old baits (houses), the new buildings of SAF reactivated the area providing diverse art experiences, as well as a community space for residents in the surrounding neighbourhood.
Since Sharjah Biennial 14 in 2019, one of the coral stone enclosures, called Bait Al Aboudi, permanently displays the Prize-winning work created by Otobong Nkanga with Emeka Ogboh. Also included in the area: SAF Urban Garden, Mirage City Cinema, and Fen Restaurant and Cafe.
Large photo on top:
Donghee Koo: Way of Replay II (off peak), 2017
Installation at Bait Gholoum Ibrahim, Sharjah Biennial 13, 2017
© Text based on information from Sharjah Art Foundation.
© Photos: Universes in Universe, unless otherwise indicated
Main institution for contemporary arts, organizer of the Biennial and other world class events.
March - June 2022. Curators: Okwui Enwezor, Hoor Al Qasimi. Theme: Thinking Historically in the Present, conceived by late Enwezor.