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Authored: Myrna Ayad on writing Assouline’s Sheikh Zayed volume

In 1968, the coastal Arab emirates entered into an unprecedented phase of vulnerability. The British, who had protected the emirates for 150 years, suddenly announced their intention to withdraw from the region. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, knew there was only one way forward: the emirates had to unite under a single nation. In December of 1971, after a series of negotiations, the United Arab Emirates was born, and Sheikh Zayed, its founding father, was named the first President.

This year marks the incredible 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates and on this occasion, luxury book publisher, Assouline, has called on Myrna Ayad to explore, examine, and tell the story of Sheikh Zayed’s extraordinary legacy in a compelling addition to their Ultimate Collection and first tome to ever be dedicated to an Arab Royal figure.

We are delighted to invite Members to an exclusive and intimate reveal of Sheikh Zayed: An Eternal Legacy with author Myrna Ayad as she shares her journey through countless archives, invaluable interviews and personal stories to tell the story of Sheikh Zayed: a father, a unifier, a conservationist, a faithful man, and a modernist.

Sheikh Zayed: An Eternal Legacy is exclusively available to Members for purchase with a special code. Please ask for details when RSVP’ing to the event.

Myrna Ayad is an arts consultant, cultural strategist and editor, who focuses on visual art and culture from the Arab world, Iran and Turkey. She established her namesake consultancy in 2018 following her tenure as director of Art Dubai. Myrna has written for The New York Times, CNN Online, The Art Newspaper, Artforum, Artsy, Artnet, Wallpaper* and The National, among others, and contributed to artist monographs and exhibition catalogues. From 2007- 2015, Myrna served as Editor of Canvas, the premier magazine for visual art from the Middle East. For almost four decades, Myrna has been based in Dubai, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Assouline is the first luxury brand on culture, founded in Paris by Prosper and Martine Assouline in 1994. The brand’s story began with the desire to create a new, contemporary style of book, using the couple’s experienced eye for visually rich stories and compelling narratives. Guided by their passion for knowledge, culture and travel, the Assoulines have since expanded their vision to fifteen hundred titles in five main collections and have established a family of international boutiques in prominent places across the globe. Assouline’s Ultimate Collection is an homage to the art of luxury bookmaking. Hand-bound using traditional techniques, with color plates hand-tipped on art-quality paper, each page of this limited-edition series bears the unique imprint of the artisan. Nestled in linen clamshell presentation cases, these books attract collectors, lovers of the printed page, and those who devour the culture of our time. Signaling a new level of sophistication for true connoisseurs, these unique books are works of art in their own right.

Recorded live Monday, 10th May 2021.

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