Arab artists
in schools

School project
Year 8–13 students

Supported by

Between 2005-2009 the Arab World Education Programme at the British Museum ran an artists-in-schools project in London. Funded by the Said Foundation, it aimed to promote a better understanding of the Arab world.

The artists worked with the Museum to raise students' awareness of Arab artistic media, counter misleading impressions of Arab achievement and enrich and extend their curricular experience and skills.

Artists with Middle Eastern heritage, whose work demonstrates a response to their background and contemporary issues, visited schools for up to six weeks to contribute to school enrichment programmes and the curriculum. The artists presented their specialist medium and historical and socio-cultural influences with students. The students developed special projects while working closely with the artists and making good use of the British Museum's collection.

After piloting the concept in autumn 2005, the British Museum worked with 15 schools across eight London boroughs. Over this period, more than 400 young people explored Arab culture through photography, calligraphy, puppetry, screen-printing and other media and developed many new skills to use in their art and design work.

The British Museum also took the project out of London, working successfully in partnership with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery in 2008.

Here you can find snapshots of the creative work carried out in individual schools since 2006 as part of the Museum's Arab artists in schools project.

Arab artist Athier Mousawi helping a school pupil with their design during the project.

Related resources

Arab world art and design resources

Six schemes of work for creating classroom sessions linked to the Arab artists in schools project.

Discover the Arab world

A schools resource which uses the rich collection of the British Museum to explore key themes about Arab people and culture: achievement, art, conflict, diversity, gender and global interaction.

Middle East and Islamic World

See all the resources and sessions on offer from the British Museum.

Project gallery

Culture & Calligraphy

Mustafa, Year 11-13, Mulberry School for Girls, Tower Hamlets

My World

Sadiq, Year 10, Brentford School for Girls, Hounslow

Middle East Maps

Maria, Year 9, Heston Community School, Hounslow


Rashad, Year 10, Langdon School, Newham


Taha, Year 12,
St Angelas Ursuline Convent, Newham

Word into Art Murals

Satta, Year 8, South Camden Community School

Identity and Photography

Saeed, Year 10, Forest Gate Community School

Identity and Place

Khosrow and Rima, Year 9,
Plashet School

Exploring Calligraphy and Arab Design

Lulwah, Year 10, Chase Community School

Deconstructing images and words

Athier, Year 9 , Winchmore School

Arab World Pop Art

Year 10,
Eltham Green School

Shadow puppetry

Mahmoud, Year 9, St Thomas More RC School

Imagining Art

Athier, Year 7,
Bishop Vesey's Grammar School


Saeed, Year 9,
Turves Green
Girls' School

Calligraphy murals

Mo, Year 10,
St Mary Redcliffe and Temple CE School

Calligraphy murals

Mo, Year 10,
Bristol Metropolitan College

'Building Stories'

Year 10,
Copthall School


Year 10,
Highgate Wood School

Deconstructing and Constructing Worlds

Athier, Year 8, Paddington Academy

Squared Circles

Souheil, Year 9, Westminster
City School