A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE DAFTAR ASFAR RANGERS
Once upon a time, Sarah, Lena and Nahla were based in Amman, and each have contributed generously to its creative and cultural scene. They are now based in various parts of the world including New Mexico, Amman, Dubai and London. The last time they had a meeting face to face was in Amman’s Wild Jordan Cafe in 2017. Otherwise their conversations and decisions live as voice notes and messages on WhatsApp, Google Drive, and their overflowing email inboxes.
Decisions, suggestions, outreach and feedback occur on the daily across continental time zones.
Sarah is a Jordanian printmaker by education and an art curator by profession. Straight out of university, Sarah founded along with three of her printmaking friends, a platform called ‘the studio’. The creative space functioned as a printmaking studio and a gallery in the heart of Amman. During that time, Sarah was able to establish connections with local and international artists, galleries, and art institutions. She later ventured into the curatorial field and currently works with Kalisher Art Consultancy offering art solutions to various hospitality brands and projects based in Europe, Middle East and Africa. In her personal work, she's constantly experimenting with different techniques varying between printmaking to digital art, she is a person who is open to exploration both as a practicing artist and in the curatorial field.
Lena Kassicieh is a Palestinian-American ceramicist, anthropologist, communications and marketing professional, and coffee-drinker. Growing up between the deserts of New Mexico and Amman, Jordan, she completed her Master’s of Science in cultural and social anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. She’s been working in the Middle East’s arts and cultural scene since 2012. Formerly the communications manager of Amman Design Week, and managing editor of several lifestyle, art and cultural magazines and websites, Lena is passionate about using design, ceramics, photography, writing, digital patterning and portraits to tell a story. She works in photography, ceramics, digital illustrations, and pattern design. She has shown her work in both the Middle East and in North America.
Nahla Tabbaa is a Jordanian-Bangladeshi contemporary art educator, artist and culinary urban experience curator. She completed her MA in Curatorial Practice from the Bath School of Art and Design and a BFA in Sculpture from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Nahla is a highly energetic, pocket-sized ticking bomb who multi-tasks between several projects and wears many hats. By day she is a consultant in community programming for contemporary art foundations including Art Jameel and previously Sharjah Art Foundation, and is a trail hostess and curator with Frying Pan Adventures. In between, she is hosting supper clubs, gardening, making art, measuring her productivity and time management skills obsessively. She is also writing, photographing and hopping on planes for her travel blog, Yugen Tales. She has taught and lectured at various spaces on subjects around culinary and urban narratives, mapping, institutional ethics and dilemmas in socially engaged practices and the spirit of collaboration. She is inclusive and collaborative by nature, and this can be seen in the many projects she has led, including Daftar Asfar and An Urban Reflection.
Photo by Darah Ghanem (2019).