Al-Tashkeel Magazine is one of the intellectual and cultural platforms concerned with artistic and creative affairs. It also plays a significant role in documenting artistic endeavors and development in the UAE. The magazine was founded in 1984 by the late artist Hassan Sharif, artist Abdul Rahim Salem, and artist Hussien Sharif, with the purpose of laying down the contemporary cultural foundation, promoting artists, and exploring their ideas and experiences. The magazine specializes in publishing research and articles by both Arab and international researchers, all in accordance with the vision of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, which supports equality among all members of all nationalities, and all artistic methods and beliefs. The Society was founded from an Arabian perspective, given that local art is an integral part of the Arabian and international art ecosystem. The Society doors were wide open to all artists, by the instructions of his highness Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the patron of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual movement in the UAE since its early emergence. 

The Magazine has dedicated, since the beginning, a section to introduce the artists, in addition to translations, and highlighting the top activities, events, and updates in the art scene. The magazine pages encompassed numerous significant artistic materials, in a recount of the development of visual arts in the UAE. Many art critics and researchers contributed to the writing, and it was run by the artists themselves; The Society chairman is even the chief editor, and history stands to witness the honest and productive contributions of artists, pioneering artists in particular, in service of art, artists, and culture in the UAE.

Dr. Noha Hilal Farran
Chief Editor

Following the founders’ vision, and after contemplating the culmination of the previous issues, the magazine worked on establishing that vision and improving the content, in addition to dividing it into fixed sections, in an effort to achieve variety and diversity in the articles and studies, while exploring the different current artistic, cultural, and intellectual issues. This was achieved by attracting and calling for many academic researchers and specialists in the field of visual arts in an attempt to shed the light on the latest updates in the art movement. It is worth mentioning that Emirates Fine Arts Society, under its new management, is paying a great amount of attention to the magazine by making sure to issue it again, after years of stopping, in addition to improving it in terms of content, classification, or production. In light of this development, the magazine now is seasonal and bilingual, as it is issued in Arabic and in English, separately. The magazine was also divided into fixed sections: “Art & Philosophy”, “Art & Culture”, “Contemporary Aesthetics”, “Heritage and Art”, “File of the Issue”, “Contemporary Arts”, “Artist of the Issue”, and “An Artist and More”, in addition to “Artistic Terminology”, “Art Panorama”, and “Al-Tashkeel Panorama”… while also covering the top events and exhibitions. We have also worked on launching the comprehensive website of the magazine to keep up with the digital transformation phase witnessed in the media sector and in all fields. This step will allow the magazine to spread widely, and will ensure its access to the largest number of readers, followers, researchers, and all those interested within the UAE and outside. 

Nujoom Al-Ghanem
Film Director/Poet/Artist

Those with an interest in documenting and keeping a record and in the cultural and artistic history are aware of the importance of cultural and artistic initiatives launched in the 70s and 80s of the last century. Publishing Al-Tashkeel print was one of those initiatives that wish to reflect the passion of a certain group of fine artists at the time, not only for shedding the light on the activities in the fine arts area in particular as an art practice, but also building a foundation for a culture of fine arts and spreading awareness of fine arts in the society, while also emphasizing that fine arts are not the mere paintings or sculptures, but way more than that. Hussain Sharif carried the first issue of Al-Tashkeel print to the Emirates Writers Union office in Sharjah, with the hope they’d approve its publishing, given that the Emirates Fine Arts Society didn’t have a copying machine at the time, back in 1984. Then one of the members at the time suggested going to a printing place on the ground floor of the same building, and this member was “Saif Al Suwaidi”.

There, Hussain Sharif managed to print 500 copies, at a cost of AED1000. also, the late artist Hassan Sharif was keen to supply the magazine with various artistic translations, and provide information on young movements and fine artists from outside the Arab world scene so they’d gain more recognition and awareness. however, the first print of the magazine was issued in 1984, and up to this date, only 30 more issues were published; this raises a lot of questions about the magazine’s journey and the challenges it faced.

“The magazine started in 1984. It was 8 pages long, and it cost AED1000 to print”

Salem Al-Junaibi
Chair man of Emirates Fine Art Society

Today, we celebrate launching the magazine’s 30th issue, after the many obstacles the magazine has faced, which were often related to the lack of harmony, in shape and in content, from one issue to another, and from one management to another, in addition to the lack of funding sometimes. The Society’s management decided to assign the role of the chief editor to someone from the outside, and Noha Farran was nominated by art pioneers in the UAE, for her research and academic background, to help in re-launching the magazine (issue 29), and establishing a fixed content, shape, and futuristic vision building on the initial propositions and inclinations, and there emerged the issue 29 concept and title “Al-Tashkeel Magazine… the Founders Journey Continues”. We later got to receive generous support from Sharjah Department of Culture, due to the honest efforts put in, the thing that will ensure the continuity of publishing for the magazine in its brand-new look and strategy, which marks a quantum leap, according to the feedback we received.

In that issue, an elite group of researchers from around the world in the field of visual arts were invited to submit articles. Our celebration today is not only for launching the 30th issue of the magazine, and receiving the support from Sharjah Government, but also for launching the magazine website, which makes the magazine, with all of its intellectual and artistic content, available to all art audiences around the globe. This emphasizes the Society’s keen effort to spread knowledge and culture, and enrich the Arabic library with the most important publications.

Dr. Najat Makki
Artist & pioneer, one of the founders of the art movement in the Emirates

The magazine represents a significant source for all those interested in the artistic movement to keep up with all the important updates in the artistic landscape, and keeps the new generation abreast of the history of the Emirati artistic movement and keeps them updated on all of its changes. Al-Tashkeel magazine plays a significant role in introducing artists and the fine arts movement and its development in the UAE, especially since it is issued by Emirates Fine Arts Society, the place where the seed for fine arts emerged. We, as art followers, are aware of the magazine and the Society’s importance in terms of the way they truly reflect the development and advancement of the art movement in the UAE, in addition to spreading awareness around art methods in the country and the artists from all around the world.

Source: “Language, Literature and Art” program، by Raad Aman, Sharjah TV, 8/10/2022.

Ali Al-Abdan
Researcher of Knowledge

Al-Tashkeel is an ancient magazine, as it goes back to 1984. since its issuance, the magazine was indeed the most significant source for spreading the visual art culture. it contained many translations of the concepts and trends of contemporary arts at a time when translated books were scarce. plus, the visual landscape now is in need of education, in addition to producing artwork. we, in the Emirates Fine Arts Society,  are proud of this magazine, which encompasses many studies, not only in the field of fine arts but also in cinematic methods and schools, theatre, poetry, and others. in 1989, I have submitted an article in which I addressed the history of caricature art, now I’m writing in the “File of the Issue” section about “Sculpture art in the UAE”… this magazine has great importance, as it genuinely documents the history of the art movement in the UAE, and it enjoys, especially with its new look, many qualities that qualify it to become a source to which we can return about art in the UAE.

Raad Aman
Writer, poet and journalist

"Amidst arts, there is an authenticity to bring delight, 
one that enchants the soul with a ravishing sight. 
A brush, a picture, a pen, an article,
 then Al-Tashkeel magazine came to light."

Al-Tahkeel magazine provides us with a wide variety of experiences in the field of art, it also encourages young talents and the mightiest of pens to write in it, thus providing a great benefit and conveying great importance.
Al-Tashkeel magazine recently launched a tab to introduce the magazine and the researchers contributing to it, in addition to the chapters and sections. Plus, the website included a separate tab for all the magazine topics so that the readers and anyone interested are able to view all the research and articles and follow all the news smoothly and easily.
The launching event was held at Emirates Fine Arts Society headquarters in Sharjah in the presence of many artists, creators, and renowned figures. The launch of the website accompanied the ceremonies of publishing the magazine’s 30th issue, which came with varied and multifarious research and articles, written by a group of elite writers from all around the world, who shared their views and academic research addressing arts and its problematic issues and topics. The issue was also ripe with news covering the artistic and global landscape from various sources, festivals, and events concerned with artistic matters and their latest news.

Prof. Rafia Ghubash
Doctor (medicine), writer, founder of “Women’s Museum” & the Art Museum “House of Creativity”

I looked at Al-Tashkeel magazine with its brand new look, and I was honestly proud of the magazine’s cultural content, and the deep nature of its topics ranging between intellect, philosophy, heritage, culture, history, and documentation. The magazine is thus considered a reference for art and a source on which students and researchers in our countries’ universities can rely. This is what an artist needs, and this is what educational and artistic institutions require. I was pleased to see them shedding the light on “House of Creativity” and documenting its formation stages.

It is my wish to see communication between the state’s institutions and universities and art faculties, and to see them working together toward spreading artistic culture among the new generation of artists. Our thanks here are due to those working on the magazine; Salem Al Junaibi, chairman of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, and Dr. Noha Farran, the magazine’s chief editor. What they accomplished was not simple, as it typically requires the efforts of a huge team, but their individual efforts and their volunteering work in service of art and culture without expecting a return is something that deserves a lot of appreciation, their efforts equal that of a whole team that is continuously working, with the support of Sharjah government.

Chief Editor | Website

Art historian, curator, visual artist, & editor-in-chief of Al-Tashkeel magazine. she holds a Ph.D. with distinction in "Art & Science of Arts," in addition to holding an MFA in Fine Arts and an MA in Philosophy of Art. She has numerous published books that provide documentation for Art in the Arab World.

“Al Tashkeel” Magazine

he first issue of “Al Tashkeel” Magazine was published back in 1984, four years after the formation of the Emirates Fine Arts Society. The fine arts movement was witnessing growth and gaining traction on all other artistic levels.