An Odd Tale is a curated platform featuring art and design from the Middle East and North Africa. We pride ourselves in identifying and presenting some of the best talents in the region.
Meet our artists, who come from a variety of backgrounds, appreciate local cultures, visuals and stories, and interpret them in creative and attractive ways.
Rapture, is a jewelry brand that tells a story. Every piece is handcrafted to bring out confidence, passion and empowerment when worn. Founded by Lebanese designer Nada Rawas in 2004, Rapture not only embodies her artistic expression but reflects her passion for creating pieces that are not forgotten by incorporating carefully selected gemstones which are used to finish gold plated and silver jewelry. Rapture has been part of numerous local and international exhibitions, and is available at different outlets in the MENA region. Love it. Wear it. Flaunt it..
Gael is a multi-disciplinary designer with a background in Interior Architecture. As a young, ambitious woman, the creative director and designer, sought to develop a brand that not only represents who she is as a woman, but who she aspires to become. In 2018 she developed her namesake brand and so began the story of Gaël Ghattas. Her passion for handmade pieces are created to embellish your bags at any occasion, and help your outfit stand out from the crowd !
Aman and Abir are two architects , designers and inventors who founded Alef Studio as their earnest contribution to the world for uniqueness and duality. To them design is an eternal way for expressing and appreciating the exceptional splendors of this world and the magnificence of its creation. They continually strive to combine their wealth of experience with fresh thinking through their work. Both collaborate closely with craftsman experts and makers in the pursuit of creating finely crafted items that enhance the experience of the users.
INAASH the Association for the preservation of Palestinian culture through embroidery. It is a non-profit organization which has been providing grassroots support to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon since 1969.
DAMJ is a unique design/build atelier founded by architect Ahmad Khouja. The word DAMJ means merge, or integrate, resonating with the atelier’s inspiration and concept of integrating several trades. The diverse scope of work includes: residential, commercial, interiors, lighting, bespoke items, art-installations, exhibitions, technical consulting, digital consulting/modeling tools, and project management.
Nevine Mattar is a Lebanese artist who enjoys exploring different facets of artistic expression through different media. Having lived both in the Far East and the West, her artistic education included studying art in Japan, in Beirut, London, Los Angeles, and New York, where she studied painting,sum-ie, and illustration. Ever since 1983, she's had yearly exhibits in various capitals-Washington, Paris, London, Rome, Milan Dubai, Amman and Beirut. Exhibiting various paintings in mixed-media and her works in Paper-Mache. She is still involved in various civic activities exposing people to the arts of recycling and founded the first Paper-Mache Association in Lebanon. She was invited to chair many art juries who were responsible to host new talents. Ever since 1983, she's had yearly exhibits in various capitals-Washington, Paris, London, Dubai, Amman, and Beirut. Nevine worked on various murals, book and poster illustrations, set designs, and in fashion. Alongside art, she has been teaching Cultural Studies at various Lebanese Universities including the American University of Beirut, Balamand University, Haigazian, and the Lebanese American University has also majored in Psychology, Education and Art History.
Amal Sorany is a self-taught artist, living in Bahrain. While working in a full-time job in Marketing and Corporate Communications, Amal started focusing on painting in acrylics. In addition, she has painted several murals and has many print sketches.
Layla Dagher is born in Beirut. Studied at ALBA (Lebanese academy of fine arts) and earned her diploma in Visual Arts with honors degree. She teaches Fine Arts in several universities. She participated in many international and local exhibitions, individuals and collectives, biennale and salons including Salon d'Automne Sursock Museum ,Salon d'Automne Paris 2020 and Maru Center Seoul Korea 2021. Her paintings are part of the collections of the Lebanese Ministry of culture. She is a member of Syndicate of Lebanese artists. Her more recent works considers the relationship between cities and humans. Through figurative, expressionist and abstract forms , She uses various mediums and vibrant colors to combine cityscape, figures and still life.
Kevork Keshishian, is a self taught multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. Currently living in Dubai, UAE. After quitting high school, he started his career as a diamond setter, and in parallel he was collecting a lot of music that led him to Dj-ing in some of the city’s most renowned clubs and venues, and was a resident DJ at notorious club ”The Basement”. In 2013, Kevork Keshishian (aka Diamond Setter) won a gold medal at Jeux De La Francophonie for audio visual, where he produced the music for the visuals created by Eye See Experience. Since 2014, he held DJ residencies at various Venues in Dubai such as “40Kong”, “EDEN Beach Club”, “El Chiringuito Dubai”, “Siddhartha Lounge”. Given his diverse knowledge of music, he also curated the music for “Molecule” & “Barbary”. In 2018, in addition to dj-ing and music production, he started drawing again. A passion he practiced briefly in 2010-11, which led him to explore different styles and textures. This grew over the years and lead him to create his visual direction which resulted in various acrylic paintings. In 2019, he founded “Gallery” with his friend Paulo Martinez, out of deep passion for musical freedom.
Kinship Stories is a culture and art project featuring a line of precious tribal adornments. Our one-of-a-kind pieces include vintage and antique materials, often of museum quality. We also experiment with fusions of old and new, adding our own handmade work to the mix. Kinship Stories is committed to supporting local artisanship and fostering intercultural understanding of otherness. Certificates detailing these stories are provided with every purchase.
Mohammed Imad is a Syrian calligrapher that resides in Turkey. He is a talented artist, who inspires passion and commitment to the art of calligraphy. His love for Arabic calligraphy was first inspired by the way his father used to write, to be developed further to become a way of life. He has participated in several exhibitions worldwide. He has worked in the field of Arabic calligraphy of all kinds through painting, designs, jewelry, manuscripts and calligraphy models and sculpture, and restoring old Islamic manuscripts.
Mona Mohanna is a Lebanese designer, who left to Italy in 1989 where she received her Master’s degree in Fashion Design. Her thesis entitled ‘Controlled Seduction’ was quoted and illustrated in several prestigious fashion magazines. Since early inception, the fundamental characteristic of Mona Mohanna’s work is her ability to create a new interpretation of “East Meets West” by mixing traditional textiles from the Middle East and Asia under an occidental cut attracting the modern woman by bridging the gap between traditional and modern. The designer has a fully dedicated showroom in Milan, Italy, with clothes and accessories made in Lebanon. The fusion of traditional material and techniques, became Mona’s signature. Mona Mohanna’s work has been rewarded many times. In 2002, she received the prestigious prize Ismu awarded to foreign entrepreneurs in Milan. In 2006, she received the Primo Europeo Terziario Donna from the Chamber of Commerce in Milan.
Nadine Tawil Abou is a passionate Lebanese designer. She grew up in an artistic family that admires and appreciates artwork. Nadine is a graduate of dental medicine with a specialty in dental prosthesis, from Paris; however, she worked for years with her uncle in trading in Lebanon and found herself in love with his business. In 1996, inspired by her newborn, Nadine Abou rediscovered her long-hidden love for art and design and started working on baby favors, which became very popular among her friends. This is when she started getting requests not only for baby giveaways, but also for wedding souvenirs, and corporate gifts. Her work is inspired by everything around her like when she travels and discovers new environments, nature, magazines. She presents her work on all types of supports, using cushions, wooden trays, boxes, fabric and especially pottery and ceramics. Nadine produces unique items with amazing colors, reflecting her vivid personality. Every piece she makes is exceptional in its own way, to show you how special you are.
Tala Beydoun is a Lebanese artist. Tala Beydoun grew up in a family that valued freedom of expression where painting and drawing came naturally. As Tala Beydoun grew older, she pursued her career for years as a teacher but It wasn’t until late 80’s that Tala Beydoun reconnected with painting and felt the passion again. In her art, Tala Beydoun combines acrylic, collage and lately embroidery to capture the intangible and convey emotions people are losing in a fast automated world. Tala Beydoun’s inspiration comes from human emotions that express compassion, love, and bonding. Tala Beydoun deeply feels that, though we each are a universe on its own, we are tightly woven in the tapestry of life.
Born in Beirut in a family dedicated to Art and Architecture, Tamara Haddad is heavily influenced by the spirit and lifestyle of her father Georges Haddad, a pioneer of modern architecture in Lebanon. After graduating in 2005 from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) with a master degree in Advertising Art Direction, she embarked in a unique journey to the other side of the world. Led by her passion for photography, she ventured across the streets and landscapes of Nepal and Tibet capturing the region’s most impressive scenery. Inspired by her series of photos, Tamara Haddad decided to expand her artistic horizon and thus devoted herself to painting. Fascinated by nature and wide open spaces, she gives the landscape a new dimension. Her recent work is focused on physical transformations that earth is enduring nowadays either caused by natural phenomenas or by mankind actions. She uses natural materials such as sand, bark, pebble and branches introducing a new form of painting in Lebanon.
The pottery atelier was the founding stone of the Bkerzay project. Led by a young and talented master potter AHMAD DEIF, the atelier welcomes pottery lovers from all levels, to work in a peaceful and natural environment away from the city hustle. The atelier showcases the work of renowned pottery artists along with local ones.
Alongside her daughter Farah, artist Rajaa Dabbous paints using her expressive brush. Known for her powerful portraits, Dabbous also depicts interesting objects or scenes with a cultural edge.
Barrak Naamani started his artistic path being specialized in bespoke shirts and suits and has become known among his surrounding as an artist. He then started a flourishing side business, where he transforms antique sewing machines into functional art. His work was exhibited in Paris at ‘Maison&Objets’. He has recently been invited to display his pieces in New York at the International Art Fair.
Farah Dabbous is an art director and co-founder of Ramz Studio, a Beirut-based Graphic Design Studio. She holds a masters in Branding and Identity Design from Nottingham Trent University (NTU, UK) as well as a BS in Graphic Design and an AS in Interior Design from the Lebanese American University (LAU, Beirut). She has a large portfolio of graphics such as branding, layout, packaging, digital work… Dabbous is especially known for her logo designs, customized Arabic calligraphies, artistic photography and varied illustration styles.
A devoted artist, Akil was born in 1988 in Syria. His passion for Arabic calligraphy began at a very young age. He has participated in several exhibitions worldwide and his artworks can be found in private collections in Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, USA, Austria, and Ireland. One of Akil’s famous artworks is based on Arabic musical ‘Maqams’, which means places, and converts them from their audio pattern to an optical shape. Akil Ahmad searches for a visual modern language for the letter.
Yasmine Dabbous, PhD, is a visual culture artist and researcher from Beirut, Lebanon. Her work is an exploration and celebration of the socio-cultural and historical traditions of her region. She has to her account a variety of exhibitions in Beirut, NYC and DC.
A self-taught artist producing mostly abstract and contemporary artwork. Naturally curious and easily bored, I tend to escape through art, experiment, discover, and lay out on canvas my life’s journey.