SafarKhan is today located in the central Brazil street in the residential island of Zamalek. The island of the well to do Cairenes has witnessed during the past years a burst of fancy, trendy art galleries and designers shops. Nonetheless, for veteran Zamalekites, Safar Khan, which is to be amongst the first private galleries in Zamalek, remains a landmark, difficult to be overlooked simply because of its sobriety, aesthetically appealing façade and exhibitions, really attractive to the passer by. Safar Khan is eye catching by its special remarkable woodwork. The premises were first created by Roxane Petridis. Safar Khan started as an antique shop selling woodwork and Islamic art works among other items. The gallery has been designed by one of the most known contemporary architects-designers Nabil Ghali whose minimalism and yet aesthetically appealing lines remain much notable. The Islamic touch exemplified in an encrusted fountain and the outer woodwork façade are eye-catching for the by-passer. The name is of course an allusion to the musaferkhan historical building, which was meant to be the “caravan serial” that hosted merchant-travellers. Sherwet Shafei’ became an associate to Roxane Petridis after her retirement from the Egyptian television in the eighties. After Roxane´s death, Sherwet appropriated the space and she then transformed it into a gallery. Exhibitions started to take place in the eighties. The first exhibitions were inaugurated by the late art historian and Minister of Culture Badr Eddin Abu Ghazi. The success story started with the exhibition of the two pioneer painters Hamed Nada and Ragheb Ayad, whose prices today have time and again rocketed.
After Roxane Petridis passed away, Shafei´ transformed Safarkhan in 1995 into an art gallery. Thus expanding it to exhibit again the “pioneers” or “ruwwad” of modern Egyptian art and she complemented these with next generation artists like Gamal El-Segini, A.H. El-Gazzar, Youssef Sida, H. Nada, Salah Abdel Kerim, Al-Hussein Fawzi, Hamed Abdallah, Zakaria El-Zeiny and Armenian artists like Yervand Demerdjian. However, Sherwet Shafei ´s mission was multifold. First, her aim was to bring fourth gone and in some way forgotten artists like Saad El-Khadem, Effat Naghi, Kamal Khalifa, Shaaban Zaki, Sami Rafie, Zohra Efflatoun and Nahmia Saad. Second, to highlight the works of contemporary artists like Mamdouh Amar, Gazbia Serry, Nazli Madkhour, Leila Izzet, Saleh Reda, Anna Boghigiuan and Raouf Raafat. Third, Shafei insists on promoting a cosmopolitan outlook by exhibiting foreigners and Egyptians living abroad like Katherine Bakhoum who has been living in France. Fourth, for a change, as Shafei stated it, and in order to bring in fresh blood, Safar Khan has recently exhibited for young students from the American University in Cairo and for the Beaux Arts School. Shafei success lies in her openness to younger generation of artists, and in her continuous excavations and research to find old and new “discoveries”.Safarkhan Gallery 6, Brazil St., Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt Mobile: +2010 544 6611 e-mail:email@example.com website: http://www.safarkhan.com/
Safarkhan, El Gouna
The Red Sea resort of El Gouna has become a popular destination for Egyptians and foreigners alike. Safarkhan opened a gallery there in 2002 and it has proved to be a successful endeavor. Ongoing exhibitions of contemporary Egyptian art delight and educate the local community and introduce tourists to a vibrant art scene that they normally wouldn’t see far from Cairo.
- State Information Department.
- Egyptian Broadcasting Cooperation.
- Egyptian Television:
- 1960: Director of a weekly art program called “Gawlet El Fonoun”. Hence was exposed on a personal level to all the great pioneers of Egyptian art beginning with the great Mahmoud Said with whom she made the first program on TV. Then came R.Ayad, Y.Kamel, H.Nada, G,El-Seguiny, S.A.Karim and many others. Besides covering all local activities Shafie traveled every other year to the Biennale of Venice for ETV coverage and representation.
- 1975: Director General of all cultural programs at the ETV
- 1980: Head of the Second Channel (the cultural channel)
- 1983: Decorated by Francois Mitterrand for achievements in developing the relationship between the Egyptian and French TV.