Creative and Curatorial Team

The Islamic Arts Biennale’s Creative and Curatorial Team comprises a multi-disciplinary team, combining the fields of archaeology, architecture, and conservation.
Each member brings to the Biennale their unique experience and perspective in showcasing the meaning and beauty of the two holy cities, Makkah Al-Mukarammah and Al-Madinah Al-Munawwara, for Muslims around the globe.

Sumayya Vally

An architect by profession, Ms Vally is the co-founder and principal of the award winning architecture and research practice Counterspace, the recipient of the Serpentine Pavilion 2021 design award. Full Bio

Dr Omniya Abdel Barr

A conservation architect and historian of Islamic art and architecture, Dr Abdel Barr is a Barakat Trust Fellow at the V&A, and Head of Development at the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation. Full Bio

Dr Saad Alrashid

A leading Saudi scholar, and the author of a comprehensive book that chronicles Darb Zubaydah, one of the most important pilgrimage routes across the Arabian Peninsula since the days of early Islam. He also works on archaeological sites across this trail. Full Bio

Dr Julian Raby

From 2002 to 2017, Dr Raby served as Director of the National Museum of Asian Art – Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he lectured on Islamic Art at the University of Oxford for 22 years. Full Bio