The FIFA World Cup 2022 marks a historical moment as the first Cup hosted in the Middle East, gathering Arabic countries around the love of football and celebrating the region’s pride. Qatar’s successful organization carried an unprecedented female representation, with
three women referees selected to officiate the tournament for the first time in World Cup history. For the occasion, Emergeast, the MENA region’s leading online art gallery, presents Carry Us Home, a female-led curated drop from the 3rd to the 20th of December 2022.
By Emma Breidi
As the first and leading online platform for emerging and mid-career Middle Eastern & North African artists, Emergeast breaks down the barriers of art collecting by advocating innovation culture via technology. Designed for cross-cultural dialogue between young art enthusiasts and collectors, the platform is putting forward female empowerment in the region with the work of 5 female artists : Ghada Al Khater, Shouq Al Mana, Helen Zughaib, Adra Kandil and Sara Tohme.
With the world’s eyes on Qatar and the Middle East, their work reflects their sentiments and message, and the importance of this World Cup for the region.
The selection pays homage to the federating and cultural forces that are art and football, bringing people and cultures together, sharing emotions and creating union.
The tournament’s location allowed more accessibility to countries from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, who previously found it challenging to attend. And those teams surprised the public by their prowess : Saudi Arabia’s win against Argentina, Iran’s win against Wales, Tunisia’s win against France, and last but not least Morocco’s amazing journey, as the first African and Arabic team to make it to the semi-finals. Celebrated across the Middle East, those victories unified the region, sharing hopes and ambitions.
As British and French colonization brought football to the region in an effort to cultivate discipline and obedience amongst the colonized people, football became a symbol of social and cultural independence amongst Arab nations thereon. This year’s increased representation signifies a symbolic moment for the region.
This year’s World Cup was also a field for resistance acts, as Iran players refused to sing their national anthem in support of Iranian women fighting for freedom. This political stance resulted in the team being forced to comply in subsequent matches. The crowd showed overwhelming support for the women-led protests in Iran wearing the national colors and holding the protest movement’s sign ‘Woman Life Freedom.’
The tournament was also the ground for acts of solidarity, as the Palestinian flag was the most waved flag during the Cup by supporters, players and teams in support of the Palestinian cause.
“I am so proud to say as an Arab American, to see the World Cup taking place in the Middle East for the first time ever! To have people from across the globe coming together in a spirit of peace and humanity to our beautiful part of the world is the most incredible feeling of pride.” – Helen Zughaib
Wednesday 14 December will take place the semi-final between Morocco and France, an historic match not to miss !
More on EMERGEAST