Welcome to the Zay Initiative Directory.
Your unique guide to specialists** and institutions** who are connected to Arab Dress, Heritage, and Culture. Be it an Academic Institution, Author/Journalist/Writer, Consultant, Crafter, Curator, Designer, Historian, Museum / Exhibition, Photographer, Product supplier, Publication or Translator
If you would like to join our ever-growing directory please click here to be listed. Introductory offer for a 15 month listing for the price of 12. For more information please contact our COO, Emma Farmer at [email protected]
The University of Texas at Arlington Department of Art + Art History
UTA A+AH is committed to offering our students inclusive, innovative, and inspiring engagements with art and cultural histories. We are proud to offer courses on the Arab World and Islamic cultures. At UTA, students can earn a BA in Art History with a Museum Studies minor or studio art, graphic design, or MFA degrees from internationally recognized faculty. Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, UTA has an incredibly diverse student body, ranking as one of the top five most diverse universities in the US. This diversity is our strength. We welcome interested students and partners to join our community!
Sigrid van Roode is a jewellery historian specializing in traditional jewellery from North Africa and Southwest Asia. Her work focuses on the capacities of jewellery as heritage; jewellery is more than just adornment, it is a cultural and historical source in itself. She is the author of several books on jewellery and works with museums, private collections and institutions such as The Zay Initiative.
Her company Bedouin Silver provides services such as jewellery identification and attribution, collection research, exhibition conceptualizing and guest curatorship, as well as outreach through written publications (digital and printed), lectures and teaching.1
Chameleon’s clients include The Zay Initiative, where Emma consults as Strategic Advisor & most recently has been given the title of COO. Over the last 18 months through her passion, Emma has helped the Zay Initiative navigate through the pandemic, launching a very successful Webinar Series.
Orchard Point Limited
Catherine (Cat) Bibby joined The Zay Initiative team as Events and Marketing Manager in 2020, bringing with her over 10 years of experience managing and coordinating projects and events in both the corporate and art worlds. She is the Founder and Director of Orchard Point Limited, providing Event & Project Management services to small creative businesses.
Having worked in project teams in the cultural and museum industries, and in the collections department at the V&A museum in London, Cat shares her passion for sustaining the legacy of heritage, art, and collections. Cat organised the British Antiques Dealers’ Association annual Art Fair In London which was an internationally renowned Art Fair, and many other engaging and successful events. Cat is also a certified virtual events planner and organises our Dialogues on the Art of Arab Fashion series.
The Zay Initiative
Dr Reem El Mutwalli, Founder of The Zay Initiative is a published author, lead curator and public
speaker. With over 30 years of experience, she is an expert consultant in Islamic art and
architecture, interior design, historic dress and UAE heritage.
Since the early 1980s, at the Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi, she has been contributing to the
establishment of cultural & art departments; advising on museum displays, leading and driving
projects, hosting seminars, undertaking cultural tasks of different capacities, and curating
Dr. El Mutwalli has also worked in an advisory capacity alongside cultural institutions, world-renowned
auction houses, and VIP art collectors while maintaining her private costume workshop
and interior design consultancy.
The Zay Initiative
A non-profit, UK registered initiative advancing the preservation of cultural heritage through the
collection, documentation and digital archiving of Arab historical attire and their stories. Our goal is
to empower and sustain global cross-cultural dialogue to inspire creative minds.
Flowers & Events consultant: Involved in the events industry in Dubai for more than 17 years, arranged and managed many events, specialized with Luxury events ( floral, setups, management … )
Finder and manager of both Mesopotamia Flower LLC ( & Blushed Flowers ( Online & Tutorial )
Ansie van der Walt
A textile writer specialising in writing about cultural textiles and textiles in fine art. I regularly contribute to a range of textile, craft, and cultural publications including my own platform, The Fabric Thread website, and podcast where we share stories about cultural textiles, textiles in fine art, textile travel, and textile books.
If you are from an academic institution you can also be included in our Directory by becoming a Friend of the Zay – Academic Institutions (Linked to attached PDF).