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Stories from the Middle East Region

INTERVIEW with artist Shirine Osseiran

Shirine Osseiran

Why did you decide to become an artist?

I wanted to be an artist because I love creating things, and I am quite happy producing by myself. I believe that the beauty of art lies in its universal quality and its ability to offer the viewer pleasure and inspiration. Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” and I am happy if I am able to do that for anyone.

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When Perfume Imitates Art, You End Up With Emir and Zohor

Parfum Jabrane & Fenaoui Emir

My sensory influences

I was exposed to a million and one different scents growing up in Morocco. From the delicious smells emanating from my mother’s kitchen and the spices of the souks, to the gorgeous scents of orange blossoms and nature when I traveled to the countryside. Scent is very important to Arab culture, and Moroccans are no exception: all the adults I knew wore perfumes. I remember smelling the distinct scent of each person every time I walked into a room of adults. I noticed a sharp difference between scents when it came to gender: men smelled musky and masculine, the women sweeter and more floral. These scents further fueled my imagination.

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INTERVIEW with Designer, Sandra Macaron

Sandra Macaron

Where did you study? Train? Work?

I started my design journey a while ago, taking drawing and painting classes with Paul Guiragossian.  Then I majored in Interior Architecture at ALBA (Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts) Beirut. I then participated in a product design exchange program at ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs) in Paris, and then moved to New York City to pursue a Masters in Lighting Design at Parsons, The New School. I worked in New York City for a couple of years in lighting and architecture firms until I decided to move back home to Beirut.

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