A Few words on Who We Are
The idea to start Pallas Arts came to my partner Lewnis and myself as we were visiting the “Rubens and his Legacy” exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Art back in 2015. Rubens was a Flemish painter from the Renaissance period, a pivotal time when the protestant Low Countries, at the forefront of modern capitalism, were asserting their rising power at the expense of the Catholic Spanish Empire, which represented an already ailing feudal tradition. Contemplating the artistic expression of this crucial period of historical transition which was to have an impact on the entire world was inspiring to us.
Medieval Spain, which is my area of expertise as a historian, is fascinating to study as a central crossroad between civilizations (Christian and Islamic) and between ages (from feudalism to the modern era). After centuries of coexistence with their Arab neighbours, without whose input the glory of the European Renaissance would probably not have been possible, the freshly united Spanish royalty decided, at the twilight of the 15th century, to expand its territory and expel the Emirate of Granada from the peninsula. Christopher Columbus, who was an eyewitness of the Spanish victory, took advantage of this expansionist impulse to convince the royal family to finance his fatidic expedition. The commercial revolution that ensued ironically helped Rubens’s country gain its independence from Spain and opened the new modern era of global capitalism.
Our understanding of both the Western and the Arab worlds across the ages has led us to focus most of our efforts to facilitate transactions of international art in the Middle East as a means to reinforce cross-cultural cooperation and dialogue. This objective has also motivated my other work endeavors, and my recent experience in the region has shown Qatar and its people to be particularly receptive to our vision. My determination was reinforced when we built our team. Armed with an extensive knowledge of the international art market and a wide network of artists and collectors, they confirmed that Qatar’s environment was simply ideal.
The logical extension of our efforts will lead us to invest in education through the Bab’El Institute. It is indeed very saddening for us to witness how often the Western world antagonizes Arab/Islamic culture when in reality it owes it so much. The underlying idea behind the Bab’El Institute is to use the profits from Pallas Arts to promote intercultural exchange and education on the connection between Western and Eastern cultures. We do realize however that when children are brought up in a biased environment, it is very challenging to change their prejudice. As a result, we are currently working on the concept of an orphanage to promote a unique type of comprehensive and multicultural education, which, we believe, can produce the geniuses of tomorrow.
Founder and CEO
Pallasarts foundermariame farqane
Founder and Chairman of Pallas Arts. She founded the project of a cultural centre, Bab’El institute, 9 years ago.
She worked for almost 8 years in Qatar in art and culture before registering her own company. She, then decided to transfer the headquarter to Geneva, in line with her global vision of PallasArts.
Mariame also worked for several years as a manager for a prestigious Spanish museum and as a professor in Spanish and French universities. Researcher at the ESF college research, she often gives conferences and published different articles. She holds masters in art and history and did a PhD on the History of Al-Andalus. She speaks fluently 6 languages.
Qatar PartnerHamad Al-Amari
Hamad Al-Amari was born in Qatar in 1988. Whilst his Father built a successful career, Hamad was lucky enough to experience a unique and varied upbringing, raised in the US and Ireland, and studying in Wales. These worldly experiences allowed him to absorb different cultures, accents, and most importantly, four different senses of humour!
Hamad returned to Doha in 2011, and quickly decided his degree in biomedical science was way too serious. Rather than pursue that career path, he took to the stage to give stand-up comedy a go! Somehow, it seemed like the logical thing to do. His ability to unite an international audience with quick wit and cultural understanding ensured that he’d soon be back on stage
His skills are not limited to stand-up comedy, though that’s where his passion lies. He is also a fantastic MC, TV presenter, writer, ambassador for youth projects and local charities, and a social influencer for Qatar
Hamad Al Amari has a soft Irish accent (most of the time!) an infectious laugh and a sparkle in his eye. Coupled with the smooth elegance of his Qatari attire – his presence on stage is clever and commanding