Middle Eastern countries have many good artists and poets but, unlike other countries in the world, platforms to showcase these creative talents are absent. “We could not find one artistic or poetic platform that was dedicated to absolute freedom of expression in the Middle East”. With that in mind, Egyptian nationals Sabah Khodir and Mohamed Kassem decided to launch their own artistic platform dedicated especially for Middle Eastern artists. And so, End Quote was born!
“End Quote is an artwork collaborative meant to inspire and influence Middle Eastern artists and poets by providing a platform where they [can] freely express themselves without violent judgment or hesitation.”
The Birth Of A Middle Eastern Centered Artistic Platform
It started 2 years back. The duo had trouble finding an artistic platform dedicated to Middle Eastern artists. Hidden talents in the Middle East had no public place to expose their work properly and be recognized for the beauty they create. Through End Quote, Khodir and Kassem want to shed light on artistic intelligence. “We also struggled with attempting to break misconceptions regarding the Middle East being nothing but an abyss of intolerance and empty canvasses of creativity.” It is true that art can transform contemporary culture and reinterpret misrepresentation.
When I write of youi can not alwayskeep it to myselfi share it with the worldand it still amazes meto watch…
End Quote’s Female Fanbase is Ready For A Gender Revolution
The platform shares diverse thought-provoking material related to many things which previously remained unshared. Many talented artists and photographers share their work with alluring photos combined with touching poetry or informative text. Now, their page has crossed 87k likes on facebook with both good and bad feedback. Bad feedback due to its freedom of expression, as the page often tackles controversial topics.
When a girl is born, the first thing we teach her is shame, and then we teach her how to eat and speak.- Sabah KhodirPhotography by Mostafa El Kashef
But despite all the issues, young Arab women make up the majority of End Quote’s fan base. “Many women find themselves ready for a gender revolution,” Khodir says. Khodir usually writes in her poetry about how woman are treated as “second-class citizens in their own countries”.
“I enjoyed hearing the stories of others and being able to transcribe them poetically moments later. Everything in the world fascinates and moves me; writing poetry is how I express that.”
Now, Sabah Khodir tries to compile some of the poetry and art on End Quote in a book as a collaboration with a so-far-unknown New York Time’s best-selling author. For the future, the duo aims to publish a website where artists can gather for art-related workshops and/or events.
It is clear End Qoute could grow into an art revolution in the Middle East where self-expression is central, and without any fear for aggression. Let’s hope it brings our boundary-pushing world to light!
The artwork represented as the article cover is from British-Egyptian multimedia artist Nada Akalaawy