Founded by collectors and cousins Khaled and Hisham Samawi in Damascus in 2006, Ayyam Gallery successfully revived interest in Syria’s art history whilst at the same time nurturing the country’s burgeoning and dynamic contemporary art scene. Landmark non-profit initiatives such as the Shabab Ayyam Project, an incubator for emerging artists, demonstrated Ayyam Gallery’s commitment to bringing the new wave of Syrian artists to international attention. Ayyam Gallery Damascus currently functions as a studio and creative haven for artists who remain in the war-torn city.
Expansion into Beirut and Dubai enabled Ayyam Gallery to broaden its scope from the promotion of work by Syrian artists to those from the wider Middle East region. In doing so Ayyam Gallery has established itself as one of the foremost exponents of Middle Eastern contemporary art to the international community. Key non-commercial exhibitions, the continuation of the Shabab Ayyam Project, and the launch of Ayyam Publishing, have further succeeded in showcasing the work of Middle Eastern artists with the aim of educating a broader audience about the art of this significant region.
Today, Ayyam Gallery is recognised as a leading cultural voice in the region, representing a roster of Arab and Iranian artists with an international profile and museum presence. A number of non-commercial exhibitions, as well as the launch of Ayyam Publishing, Ayyam Editions, and The Young Collectors Auction, have further succeeded in showcasing the work of Middle Eastern artists with the aim of educating a wider audience about the art of this significant region. In early 2013, Ayyam Gallery launched new spaces in London and Jeddah.