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Arab Fund for Arts & Culture

Executive Director: Oussama Rifahi
Establishment: 2007
Type: Multi-purpose Fundraising Foundation
Focus Region: Arab Region
Sectors: Research, Training and Capacity Building, Recreational Activities (Arts)


The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) was established by local cultural lobbyists as an independent initiative that funds individuals and organizations in the fields of cinema, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts while facilitating cultural exchange, research and cooperation across the Arab world and globally.


AFAC envisions a thriving Arab art and cultural scene, one that is confident in its expression, open to dialogue, accessible to all and sustained locally by committed patrons. Two fundamental principles guide AFAC's mode of work: transparency in the grant giving process and independence through a diversity of funding sources.


  • To increase and enhance contemporary art and culture production and research.
  • To support capacity-building and training in the cultural sector.
  • To perpetuate cultural exchange and collaboration across the region and globally.
  • To deliver a sustainable source of funding for outstanding and meaningful cultural work.
  • To identify and develop distribution channels for Arab cultural productions in the region.
  • To cultivate appreciation and engagement with contemporary art and culture among the wider Arab public.
  • To encourage patronage and philanthropy towards arts and culture activities with individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • To advocate for fair, transparent and accountable access to resources to the artistic communities.
  • To reduce barriers to public participation in arts and culture.
  • To encourage investments in the arts through tax revenues, public and private investment, and entrepreneurial business practices.


  • The AFAC Documentary Program: launched 2013, is a program that funds and supports creative documentary films that address social realities in the Arab region. The program welcomes, on an annual basis, submissions of short, medium-length and feature documentary film projects that are in production and post-production.
  • The AFAC Novel Writing Program: launched in collaboration with Najwa Barakat’s Al-Mohtaraf in 2014 is a new intensive year-long training program offered by AFAC in lieu of the annual grant for Literature as a response for the need to offer professional support to aspiring authors in the Arab region.
  • The Arab Documentary Photography Program: is a jointly funded program by AFAC and the Prince Claus Fund, in partnership with the Magnum Foundation, that aims to support creative documentary photographers in the Arab region, offering grantees both financial and professional support for their proposed photography projects. The program will run from 2014 to 2016.
  • Crossroads: targets independent Arab filmmakers exploring the frontiers of new possibilities offered by the current social and political turmoil in the region by offering both financial and professional support for film projects in development phases directed by emerging filmmakers who are discovering fertile grounds for innovation, creativity and experimentation amidst the upheaval engulfing the region.

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