Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi

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Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi
Sultan on top of Tahrir Square on the first anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution.
Alma materAmerican University of Paris
European Business School
OccupationFounder of Barjeel Art Foundation
Founder and Chairman of Barjeel Geojit Securities
MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow
Member of Global Commission on Internet Governance
Known forBarjeel Art Foundation

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi (Arabic: سلطان سعود القاسمي‎) is an Emirati commentator on Arab affairs and also a member of the Sharjah ruling family. Al-Qassemi is known for his use of Twitter[1] and has been described by numerous media outlets as a prominent voice during the events of the Arab Spring.[2][3] In February 2014 Al-Qassemi joined the Global Commission on Internet Governance[4] and in the summer of 2014 became an MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow.[5] In the Spring 2017 Al-Qassemi was a practitioner in residence at the Hagop Kevorkian Center of Near East Studies at New York University, where he offered a course on Politics of Middle Eastern Art.[6] The Gottlieb Duttweiler Institut's Global Influence list of Arabic thought leaders ranked Al-Qassemi number 19 in 2018.[7] Also in 2018 he was named a World Fellow in the Yale Greenberg World Fellows Program.[8] Al-Qassemi is also the Chairman of Barjeel Geojit Securities, a joint-venture that was formed with Geojit Financial Services of India.[9]

Barjeel Art Foundation[edit]

Quote featured at the Fire Station art supplies store, Doha, Qatar. Photo Courtesy of Assil Diab.

Al-Qassemi is the founder of the Sharjah-based Barjeel Art Foundation whose mission is to promote art by artists from the Arab world through exhibitions locally and internationally. Al-Qassemi was on the panel of judges on Sheikha Manal's Young Artist Award in 2010,[10] 2011 and 2016. Al-Qassemi was also part of the Jury and Selection Committee of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2017. In January 2020, Sultan and Barjeel Art Foundation debuted the largest collection of abstract art by Arab artists in "Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950's-1980's" curated by Suheyla Takesh at NYU Grey Art Gallery. This U.S. traveling exhibition explores mid-20th-century abstract art from North Africa, West Asia, and the Arab diaspora.

Barjeel Geojit[edit]

Barjeel Geojit was formed as a joint venture between Al-Qassemi and Geojit Financial Services of India in the year 2000. The company is an eight time consecutive winner of Best Performing Financial Advisor in NRI Category at the CNBC-TV18 Financial Advisor Awards.[11][12][13] Al-Qassemi was also featured in the World Economic Forum's list of Young Global Leaders in 2011 as the Chairman of Barjeel Geojit Securities.[14]


Al-Qassemi's articles have appeared in publications including Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The Independent and CNN. He sparked a debate[15] in the UAE following an article[16] in which he recommended that certain expatriates be granted UAE citizenship. In 2013 Sultan Al Qassemi was criticised[17] for suggesting in an article[18] that continuous civil unrest in parts of the Arab world is leading to the emergence of Persian Gulf cities as cultural and commercial centres of the region.

Al-Qassemi has written about media in the Arab world,[19] the Jewish presence in Middle East,[20] British journalists coverage[21] of Dubai and atheism[22] in the Persian Gulf among other topics. An archive of his articles and interviews appears here.[23]

Awards & Recognitions[edit]

  • - #63, 100 Most Powerful Arabs, Gulf Business, February 2014
  • - #82, 100 Most Powerful Arabs, Gulf Business, 2013
  • '140 Best Twitter Feeds', TIME, 2011[1]


  • Chapter "The Arab world : a sum of its parts" in "Imperfect chronology : Arab art from the modern to the contemporary: works from the Barjeel Art Foundation", edited by Omar Kholeif with Candy Stobbs, published: Whitechapel Gallery, 2015


  1. ^ a b Fastenberg, Dan (2011-03-28). "The 140 Best Twitter Feeds Of 2011". Time.
  2. ^ Adams, Richard (2011-07-08). "How Sultan al-Qassemi tweeted up a revolution". The Guardian. London.
  3. ^ "On The Pulse - Majalla Magazine". 11 November 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Person Overview ‹ Sultan Al Qassemi – MIT Media Lab".
  6. ^ "Sultan Al Qassemi as Spring 2017 Practitioner-in-Residence | Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies | New York University". Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  7. ^ "Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi - Global Influence". Global Influence. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  8. ^ "Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi | Yale Greenberg World Fellows". Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  9. ^ "Barjeel Geojit wins CNBC award". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  10. ^ "Sheikha Manal Young Artist shortlist shows a healthy mix | The National". Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  11. ^ "Barjeel wins best performing financial adviser award". The Gulf Today. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Barjeel Geojit now a five-time winner at CNBC-TV18 awards". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  13. ^ "Winners of UTI CNBC TV18 Financial Advisers Awards". Morning Star. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  14. ^ Staff (2012-03-06). "Four UAE residents are Young Global Leaders". Emirates 24|7. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  15. ^ "Call to naturalise some expats stirs anxiety in the UAE". Reuters. 2013-10-10.
  16. ^ News, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Special to Gulf (22 September 2013). "Give expats an opportunity to earn UAE citizenship".
  17. ^ "Responses to Gulf Cities as new Arab Centres of Culture & Commerce article".
  18. ^ "Thriving Gulf Cities Emerge as New Centers of Arab World". 8 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Al Jazeera's Awful Week" – via Foreign Policy.
  20. ^ "Welcoming Our Long-gone Neighbors". 16 May 2008 – via Haaretz.
  21. ^ "Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi: If you think Dubai is bad, just look at your own country". The Independent. London. 2009-04-10.
  22. ^ "Gulf atheism in the age of social media". 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Sultan Al Qassemi -".

External links[edit]