Universes in Universe

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Darat al Funun

Art center in Amman, founded 1993 by Khalid and Suha Shoman. Information and photo tour.
By Pat Binder & Gerhard Haupt | Mar 2003

In 1993, the painter Suha Shoman and her husband Khalid, a banker and patron of the arts, founded Darat al Funun, the "Home of the Arts" in Amman. It has become one of the most important meeting and information centers for art in the Arab world and a venue for intercultural dialogue.

Darat al Funun is located in three houses from the 1920s, on a small hill in the oldest part of Amman. In the garden of the main building there are excavations of a Byzantine church from the 6th century. The exposure of the ruins and the history of the entire complex are thoroughly documented on the website The houses were carefully restored in 1992, under the direction of the architect Ammar Khammash. Four galleries with a total of 250 m2, a research and video library, workshops and studios, guest residences for artists and venues for music, theater, readings, etc. were installed.

The center's library holds publications in Arabic and English on visual arts from the Arab world and elsewhere, including Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It is possible to consult a database on artists from Arab countries, a slide and video collection, and also documentation on the activities of the institution itself.

The focus of the multi-faceted program at Darat al Funun is the exhibition of work by local and visiting artists, accompanied by thematic events and special offers for children and adolescents. In addition, there are independent musical and literary presentations.

The studios and workshops for painting, graphic arts, sculpture, and other techniques are available to the institution's guests free of charge. Renowned artists and art specialists from abroad are frequently invited to stay at Darat al Funun, where they offer courses and seminars.


Pat Binder & Gerhard Haupt

Publishers of Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art and of Nafas Art Magazine. Based in Berlin, Germany.

(From the German: Helen Adkins)

Darat al Funun

13 Nadeem al Mallah St.
Jabal al Weibdeh
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