Rula alami private collection of arab modern and contemporary art.


About Me

This personal collection website aims to unravel the richness and diversity of Middle Eastern (Arab) art that is rooted in the rich Levant civilizations

“KIYAN” in Arabic means “being” and “existence”, a meaning that carries a strong connection to my personal journey.

My passion for art flourished while I was living in London, the city of cultural zeal.  Having endured many wars in Lebanon between 1973 and 1984, I came to the United Kingdom as a Masters student at London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), carrying vivid memories of violence infused with melancholic nostalgia.

It is precisely this nostalgia that motivated my initial interest in Arab and Orientalist art. Realizing that romantic and sensual orientalist art is rather a Western depiction of the East, my interest shifted towards Middle Eastern Contemporary and Modern Art.  Incidentally the term Middle East carries colonialist connotations: Middle of where? East of what?

During my time in London my focus on cultural heritage transformed into a deep appreciation of art as a universal expression that transcends all boundaries. I attended History of Art courses and read many books to enrich my knowledge of the major art movements in their historical context. Visiting a myriad of exhibitions in London became a ritual of contemplation and infiltration of artists’ world .

I started a humble collection while living in London and the USA. I acquired my first piece in 1986 from Mathaf Gallery in London. It was a watercolor by an Italian 19th century artists titled “Ruins Near Gaza.”

It was not until I returned to Lebanon in the year 2000 that I became a serious collector of Contemporary and Modern Arab Art, with a zest that raced ahead of the market upheaval from 2008 onwards. My soul searching endeavor centered around my homeland, its landscapes, its people and its languages. This adamant pursuit lead to a growing collection of Arab modern and contemporary art along with some artworks from other parts of the world.



Rula has been engaged in the regional art market for over twenty years as a collector, consultant, and co-curator. She has been an active art advisor to private collectors in the region.

Her area of special interest is Arab Modern and Contemporary Art.  She has co-curated thematic exhibitions in Amman, Beirut (Art in Iraq Today), Dubai (Art Palestine) and (Belonging) and Kuwait (Third Identity) . Moreover, she curated many online exhibitions

Rula was a member MENACC ( MENA Art Acquisition Committee) at Tate modern London in 2021/2022.

Rula has been a board member of Inaash Association since 2002, and a board member of ULYP (United Lebanon Youth Project) since 2018.

Rula holds a masters degree in Economics from School of Orient and African Studies University of London (1986) and an Executive MBA from the American University of Beirut (2012). Her career started in the banking sector in the United Kingdom. In 2018 she received a certificate in Art Management from Ecole Superieure Des Affairs (Beirut) and Gurr Johns (London).

Rula has been taking online curatorship courses with NODE Center in Berlin since 2016. Moreover, she curated many online exhibitions with Artscoops.