An Interview with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder of Barjeel Art Foundation

With a quarter of a million Twitter followers and dozens of political articles published on notable news sites such as the Huffington Post, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi may well have established himself as one of the most resonating voices on current affairs in the Arab world. Rising to fame through his coverage of political unrest in the Middle East, Al Qassemi is increasingly representing the region by way of an ever widening platform and his audience thankfully follows his insightful analysis of current affairs. Due to his constant exposure to the public eye, many may believe that they know who Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is and what he stands for. But how much does a 140-character tweet reveal about a person? To understand what motivates this young Emirati to reach out to the world in the way he does, it is advisable to take a closer look at his great passion for the arts.

After over a decade of involvement in the arts whilst building a collection of over 600 pieces, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi’s efforts to further the art community in the UAE has culminated in the establishment of the Barjeel Art Foundation in the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah. The Foundation serves as a continuous display space for his considerable private collection. In a conversation with Tharawat magazine, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi reveals how his collection is a sincere testimony to his own tastes and opinions, in which ways he wishes to engage with the arts community, and why the Gulf has grown into the cultural centre of the Arab world.