Sahar Sharif

Masters of Arts in Museum Studies (2013)

New York University

Sahar Sharif  Born and raised within global mix of cultures, Emirati from Dubai,        American and Indian, I have to say I’m an Emirati that truly  represents the UAE’s love of diversity.  I am an Interior Architect and  a Museologist by profession, as well as an exhibition designer and  visual artist.  I moved to New York City in 2011, on a UAE  government fellowship with the Emirates Foundation to pursue a  Masters degree in Museum Studies at New York University.  Whilst  working on a number of independent museum projects, I have been  working for Sigmund Balka and the Galleries at Krasdale Foods for  the last year; with one of the projects including the proposed Public  Mural project called Living the American Dream, in Hunts Point, an  underprevilaged area of the South Bronx, New York. 

 When specifically asked about my student experience by the UAE  Embassy in Washington DC, I responded with this short bio and my  article “Encouraging a Museum-going culture” that was published in  the AUD Review, a publication by the American University in Dubai, in 2012. 

I believe that living in New York City was indeed a unique experience!  I felt like I grew 10 years mentally, in the 3 years that I spent studying, working and roaming the boroughs of New York City.  From learning about museums to quick thinking strategies to dealing with insane landladies, NYC offers it all!  I can safely say that it was the best learning ground for any Emirati who wants to lead and make a difference.  However, if it wasn't for the generosity of the Emirates Foundation and the UAE government, this experience could not have been the same.

I can now proudly wear the famous t-shirt souvenir sold on the streets of NYC that says "I heart NYC" for not only did I get a master's degree in Museum Studies, but a PhD in human relationship."

My inspirations for projects can come from anything, even something as random as the shape of a bottle.  But if one was to choose "tried-and-tested" inspirations, I would say Neon colors, traveling, art museums, people and World music.  Besides designing, my other interests are traveling, new cultures, museums, kickboxing, ice-skating and a good debate over a hazelnut macchiato!

Last but not least, my specialized professional interest is to help encourage a museum-going culture in places that need one.  Museums are the stage to foster and revive our cultures, and exhibitions are the front stage.  Cross-cultural exchanges and space design strategies are my personal favorite themes.  One of my mottos is: Appreciate cultural identity, but live globally!

Starting from June 2013, I will be moving on to pursue this professional interest working as a Cultural Projects Manager for the Zayed National Museum project at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA), the federal museum authority of the United Arab Emirates.

Please click on the link below to see my article “Encouraging a Museum-going culture” that was published in the AUD Review, a publication by the American University in Dubai, in 2012. 

Sahar Sharif: Encouraging a Museum-going culture