تأسست منظمة مساحات في النرويج عام 2015 (رقم 915354297) وهي منظمة مستقلة غير ربحية، تعمل على إنتاج ثقافة وفنون من الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا، مع التركيز بشكل خاص على العالم العربي. تأخذ مساحات من تاريخ وحياة وفنون وإبداع عُمومِ الناس أساساً لمقاربة مجتمعاتِ الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا في النرويج.


ترتكز مساحات في عملها على موجة الأمل والإبداع التي ولّدها الربيع العربي لتخلق مساحاتٍ تشاركيّة وغير هرمية لتبادل المعرفة والآراء والخبرات. تتنوع نشاطات مساحات لتقدّم أصواتاً فنية وثقافية ومعرفية من العالم العربي عادة ما تكون مهمشة في المشهد النرويجي، من خلال مساحات مثل معارض فنية، جلسات حوار، عرض أفلام، حفلات موسيقى، حلقات قراءة وغيرها من النشاطات.


من خلال العمل ضمن اختصاصات ثقافية وفنية مختلفة وبالشراكة مع جهات ثقافية في النرويج، تتوجه مساحات إلى جمهور واسع، يتألف من النرويجيين والأقليات متعددة اللغات من الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا وبذلك تتدخّل مساحات في الفضاء العام النرويجي وتساهم بخلق مشهد ثقافي وفني أكثر تنوعاً.


منذ عام 2015 ، نظمت مساحات أكثر من 60 فعاليةً فنيّةً وثقافيةً ومعرفية وتعاونت مع أكثر من 30 جهة ثقافية وفنية وبحثية فاعلة في النرويج. تم تغطية نشاطات مساحات على شكل واسع في مختلف وسائل الإعلام النرويجية.

masahat is a non-profit organization established in 2015 in Norway (organization nr. 915354297) with the purpose of curating and presenting high-quality knowledge, history, art and culture from the Middle East and North Africa with a special focus on the Arab world.


masahat brings forward the activism and hope that was sparked by the Arab Spring to create unique spaces in Norway facilitating non-hierarchical exchange of expertise, ideas, art and inspiration. We periodically change the focus of our activities to feature high-quality, underrepresented expert and artistic voices from the Middle East in events such as art exhibitions, panel debates, film screenings, reading circles, expert seminars, concerts and conferences.


By working cross-thematically and partnering with a wide range of Norwegian actors, masahat caters to a broad audience comprising both Norwegians and multi-lingiual minorities from the Arabic world. Masahat contributes to a more diverse Norwegian public debate and more inclusive artistic and cultural scene.


Since 2015, masahat arranged more than 60 artistic, cultural and thematic events featuring underrepresented voices from the Middle East, and partnered with more than 30 Norwegian institute, cultural actors and festivals. masahat is widely featured in the Norwegian media.

Team

Rana Issa

Artistic Director

rana@masahat.no

Rana Issa is a writer, translator and cultural producer focusing on literary and contemporary artistic practices entangled with Arabic cultural history. She works at the intersection between public humanities, activist engagements, and academic curiosity. Rana’s work has appeared in leading journals, platforms and presses, and she has collaborations with international artists from the region in the fields of film, performance arts, visual arts and sculpture.

Zeina Bali

Managing Director

zeina@masahat.no

Earlier to her job as a co-founding director at Masahat, Zeina Bali worked with several Norwegian and International NGOs in Turkey, Syria, Norway, Switzerland, among others, and participated in various international events engaging with culture, humanitarian work and the diasporic Syrian civil society. She holds a Msc in International Development and Management from Lund University, Sweden. Zeina was born and raised in Syria and moved to Norway in 2015.

Bassel Hatoum

Curator and Producer

Bassel@masahat.no

Bassel Hatoum is a Lebanese-Norwegian curatour and communicator with an interdisciplinary background in social sciences and Middle East- studies from SOAS and UiO. For a number of years, he has worked with issues related to equality, accessibility and discrimination and was head of the organization “Skeiv Verden” / Queer World from 2019 to 2023. He has also curated several exhibitions and cultural programmes and holds a broad network within the academic and cultural field.

Rana Issa
Artistic Director rana[at]masahat[dot]no

Rana Issa is a writer, translator and cultural producer focusing on literary and contemporary artistic practices entangled with Arabic cultural history. She works at the intersection between public humanities, activist engagements, and academic curiosity. Rana’s work has appeared in leading journals, platforms and presses, and she has collaborations with international artists from the region in the fields of film, performance arts, visual arts and sculpture.

 

Zeina Bali
Managing Director zeina[at]masahat[dot]no

Earlier to her job as a co-founding director at Masahat, Zeina Bali worked with several Norwegian and International NGOs in Turkey, Syria, Norway, Switzerland, among others, and participated in various international events engaging with culture, humanitarian work and the diasporic Syrian civil society. She holds a MSc in International Development and Management from Lund University, Sweden. Zeina was born and raised in Syria and moved to Norway in 2015.

Bassel Hatoum
Curator and Producer bassel[at]masahat[dot]no

Bassel Hatoum is a Lebanese-Norwegian curatour and communicator with an interdisciplinary background in social sciences and Middle East- studies from SOAS and UiO. For a number of years, he has worked with issues related to equality, accessibility and discrimination and was head of the organization “Skeiv Verden” / Queer World from 2019 to 2023. He has also curated several exhibitions and cultural programmes and holds a broad network within the academic and cultural field.

Board

Ingeborg Moa

Chair of the Board

Ingeborg Moa is the Executive Director of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund. She has previously worked with Norwegian People’s Aid, the UN and Amnesty International Norway. Ingeborg has nearly two decades of international experience working with local organizations and human rights defenders around the world. She is also on the Board of SafeMuse.

Selma Benmalek

Board Member

Selma Benmalek works as a program consultant responsible for the debate and literature program at Deichman Bjørvika in Oslo. Additionally, she is a board member of Jeunesses Musicales Norway and an editorial assistant at the art magazine 10 Undersøkelser. Selma has a background from Morocco and Northern Norway and was born and raised in Oslo.

Chiara Ayad

Board Member

Chiara Ayad is an Adviser at NOREF- Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution. She is Palestinian Norwegian and grew up in the West Bank and Jerusalem. She holds a Masters degree in International Security with a focus on Diplomacy and Gender from Sciences Po Paris. She has experience working with research on youth political participation, governance and social justice in the MENA, and is a Women, Peace and Security (WPS) consultant. She has a background in arts and culture and is interested in cultural tools for social and political mobilization.

Jan Lothe Eriksen

Board member

Jan Lothe Eriksen is a Norwegian cultural entrepreneur and former musician, the initiator and first director of Safemuse – Safe Havens for Artists, and initiator and first director of Riksscenen – National Venue for Traditional Music and Dance. He is educated at the Rogaland Conservatory of Music, is a former cellist in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, vice president of the Norwegian Musicians’ Union (now Creo), and general manager of the Norwegian Traditional Music and Dance Association (NFD, now FolkOrg). He has also for a period worked as cellist with the Sami artist Torgeir Vassvik, and serves as board member of the international network organization SH|FT – Safe Havens Freedom Talks.

Murhaf Fares

Board Member

Murhaf is Computer Scientist specialized in Artificial Intelligence. He holds a PhD in computational linguistics from the University of Oslo. He has contributed to the Norwegian debate on Syria by writing in newspapers and participating in panel discussions. He also writes and translates articles in English. Murhaf has been part of coordinating advocacy campaigns together with other Syrian activists around the world. Murhaf was born and raised in Syria and came to Norway in 2011. 

Ingeborg Moa​
Chair of the Board

Ingeborg Moa is the Executive Director of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund. She has previously worked with Norwegian People’s Aid, the UN and Amnesty International Norway. Ingeborg has nearly two decades of international experience working with local organizations and human rights defenders around the world. She is also on the Board of SafeMuse.

Selma Benmalek
Board Member

Selma Benmalek works as a program consultant responsible for the debate and literature program at Deichman Bjørvika in Oslo. Additionally, she is a board member of Jeunesses Musicales Norway and an editorial assistant at the art magazine 10 Undersøkelser. Selma has a background from Morocco and Northern Norway and was born and raised in Oslo.

Chiara Ayad
Board Member

Chiara Ayad is an Adviser at NOREF- Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution. She is Palestinian Norwegian and grew up in the West Bank and Jerusalem. She holds a Masters degree in International Security with a focus on Diplomacy and Gender from Sciences Po Paris. She has experience working with research on youth political participation, governance and social justice in the MENA, and is a Women, Peace and Security (WPS) consultant. She has a background in arts and culture and is interested in cultural tools for social and political mobilization.

Jan Lothe Eriksen
Board Member

Jan Lothe Eriksen is a Norwegian cultural entrepreneur and former musician, the initiator and first director of Safemuse – Safe Havens for Artists, and initiator and first director of Riksscenen – National Venue for Traditional Music and Dance. He is educated at the Rogaland Conservatory of Music, is a former cellist in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, vice president of the Norwegian Musicians’ Union (now Creo), and general manager of the Norwegian Traditional Music and Dance Association (NFD, now FolkOrg). He has also for a period worked as cellist with the Sami artist Torgeir Vassvik, and serves as board member of the international network organization SH|FT – Safe Havens Freedom Talks.

Murhaf Fares
Board Member

Murhaf is Computer Scientist specialized in Artificial Intelligence. He holds a PhD in computational linguistics from the University of Oslo. He has contributed to the Norwegian debate on Syria by writing in newspapers and participating in panel discussions. He also writes and translates articles in English. Murhaf has been part of coordinating advocacy campaigns together with other Syrian activists around the world. Murhaf was born and raised in Syria and came to Norway in 2011. 

Advisory Board

Andreas Delsett​

Advisory Board Member​

Andreas is the Artistic Director at the House of Literature (Litteraturhuset) in Oslo, Norway, where he has since 2009 curated the annual International Saladin Days. Andreas is the author of one non-fiction book about food and labour (Kjøkkenveien. En bok om mat og arbeid, Forlaget Press 2019). He is currently on leave from his position at Litteraturhuset to serve as political advisor in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) for the Red party.

Helle Siljeholm​

Advisory Board Member​

Helle Siljeholm has a master in visual arts (KHIO, Oslo, 2016) and a bachelor in contemporary dance (London Contemporary Dance School, 2003). Her artistic practice includes choreography, performance, video, sculpture and installation. She has been working, performing and exhibiting nationally and internationally since 2003, with art and cultural projects in the Middle East since 2008. In 2015, she received, together with choreographer Sara Christophersen Hans Christian Osterø’s memory award for long term collaborative work for, and with dance in Palestine in partnership with Sareeyyet Ramallah- First Ramallah Group (PS). www.hellesiljeholm.com.

Christian Ruge

Advisory Board Member​

Christian Holmboe Ruge is Special Advisor at NOREF – Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution . He is an arms and human security specialist with a background in civil society, research and diplomacy, having worked for Norwegian People’s Aid and the Fafo Institute, and as a consultant to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He holds an LLM in Public International Law and a BA in Social Science, and has extensive experience of international public diplomacy, particularly the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

Mark Taylor

Advisory Board Member​

Mark Taylor (D.Phil) is a researcher at the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Oslo, with a long-standing engagement with movements for social justice, including in the Middle East. His research focuses on the regulation of global value chains, with a particular focus on business and human rights and situations of violent conflict. Mark has advised trade unions, NGOs, governments, businesses and multilateral organizations on legal measures to protect people and the planet. Early in his work like, Mark worked as a human rights activist in Palestine and has since conducted several research projects elsewhere in the region. Mark has published a number of articles and is the author of War Economies and International Law (Cambridge University Press 2020).

Andreas Delsett
Advisory Board Member

Andreas is the Artistic Director at the House of Literature (Litteraturhuset) in Oslo, Norway, where he has since 2009 curated the annual International Saladin Days. Andreas is the author of one non-fiction book about food and labour (Kjøkkenveien. En bok om mat og arbeid, Forlaget Press 2019). He is currently on leave from his position at Litteraturhuset to serve as political advisor in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) for the Red party.

Helle Siljeholm
Advisory Board Member

Helle Siljeholm has a master in visual arts (KHIO, Oslo, 2016) and a bachelor in contemporary dance (London Contemporary Dance School, 2003). Her artistic practice includes choreography, performance, video, sculpture and installation. She has been working, performing and exhibiting nationally and internationally since 2003, with art and cultural projects in the Middle East since 2008. In 2015, she received, togethere with choreographer Sara Christophersen Hans Christian Osterø’s memory award for long term collaborative work for, and with dance in Palestine in partnership with Sareeyyet Ramallah- First Ramallah Group (PS). www.hellesiljeholm.com.

Christian Ruge
Advisory Board Member

Christian Holmboe Ruge is Special Advisor at NOREF – Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution . He is an arms and human security specialist with a background in civil society, research and diplomacy, having worked for Norwegian People’s Aid and the Fafo Institute, and as a consultant to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He holds an LLM in Public International Law and a BA in Social Science, and has extensive experience of international public diplomacy, particularly the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

Mark Taylor
Advisory Board Member

Mark Taylor (D.Phil) is a researcher at the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Oslo, with a long-standing engagement with movements for social justice, including in the Middle East. His research focuses on the regulation of global value chains, with a particular focus on business and human rights and situations of violent conflict. Mark has advised trade unions, NGOs, governments, businesses and multilateral organizations on legal measures to protect people and the planet. Early in his work like, Mark worked as a human rights activist in Palestine and has since conducted several research projects elsewhere in the region. Mark has published a number of articles and is the author of War Economies and International Law (Cambridge University Press 2020).

Donors

Partners