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Isabelle Van den Eynde, Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde

"I've always believed in and admired Magic of Persia's vision and sense of purpose. They have done – and continue to do - such a remarkable job in promoting contemporary Iranian art and wresting this work away from the clichéd perceptions and ill-informed prejudices that swirl around when it comes to Iran. Yet as there are so few, if any, professionally-organised and widely-seen platforms for developing Iranian art as this, I feel their work is a vital and crucial part of helping develop the on-going blossoming of talent from Iran and across the Persian diaspora."

The Future Center for Special Needs

“The Magic of Persia has been a one of the avid supporters of the Future Centre for Special Needs for three years now from year 2008.  The donations that it has been making to the Future Centre from the proceeds of its annual fund raising events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates were used to procure equipment and materials that are much needed by our teachers and specialists.  Our methods of teaching our students with special needs evolve and we constantly explore new ones thus the need for us to procure new equipment and materials.  In so doing, we are able to provide our students with more enjoyable ways of teaching and therapy.  In the long run, the students   get more excited to learn which leads to the development and improvement of skills that are necessary for them to lead fulfilling lives. 

It has been an honor for the Future Centre for Special Needs, Abu Dhabi to be one of the beneficiaries of the Magic of Persia.  We will always be grateful to its organizers and management and we look forward to continuous partnership with them.” 

Isphana Al Khatib, Al Noor Training Centre

“Magic of Persia was the concept of Shirley Elghanian to promote the richness of Persian culture and heritage in today’s youth. This wonderful idea was to involve the people from the community, to contribute to this extraordinary four days of activity which was put into place. A Persian night of music and dance, an unique auction, Iranian artwork and a Golf Tournament.

The event beneficiaries were Magic of Persia Education programme, Encyclopaedia Iranica, Future Centre and Al Noor Training Centre.

Al Noor has a total annual operating budget of AED 15 million approximately (year 2010-11) of this, nearly 4.5 million requires to be raised through fundraising. Therefore, it was much needed funds we received from this wonderful event.

It has been a wonderful learning experience working with Shirley and her team. Our students enjoyed working on the themed paintings they did for the auction keeping in mind the unique ideas which were put together by Al Noor and Magic of Persia.

Al Noor would like to wish “Magic of Persia’ all the best in order to continue its ongoing efforts to educate the youth of today and to preserve the legacy of Ancient Persia.” 

Julia Peyton-Jones, Serpentine Gallery

“Magic of Persia is an important charity for promoting the art of Persia, which is attracting international attention.” 

Adrian Dannatt

“The magic of Persia is a very real thing, as anyone will attest who has had the chance to visit, even briefly, that truly extra-ordinary land but such magic extends beyond any mere geographic domain to encompass all the arts and skills, spells and charms, of that vast culture, stretching back so far through history and so widely out across the globe. The alchemy of contemporary art which transforms the world around us, makes us see it anew from often the most improbable angles, could not be better suited to the task of transforming all our assumptions about a country or people, and transforming those themselves in turn, as if from within. The vital task of 'Magic of Persia' (one of the most dynamic and practical of new arts organizations to have recently appeared), is thus to shift, little by little, work by work, prize by prize, the preconceived prejudices of all of us, whether any so-called 'Orientalism' or the current reality of Persian thinking and living.” 

Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al-Nahayan, at Magical Nights 2010

" Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome Magic of Persia to the United Arab Emirates.  I greatly admire your mission to promote Persian Arts around the globe and your strong commitment to support worthy charities that help our fellow human beings.  I acknowledge the impressive achievements of all who have made Magic of Persia the success it is today and appreciate your initiatives and success.  Your flexibility and creativity have served the Persian artistic and cultural community well. Your work also reminds us of the importance of developing an international perspective in all successful artistic and cultural efforts and of keeping art as a powerful force for prosperity, peace and global involvement.

Thanks to Magic of Persia, we are privileged tonight to witness a traditional evening of Persian art and culture and to view and bid on the exceptional works of some of Iran’s most distinguished contemporary artists.  I offer a special welcome to all of our visitors and guests and to the distinguished Iranian artists who are here with us this evening.  I thank especially all the artists whose works will raise money for important educational and social programs.  I trust that you find Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates both hospitable and supportive of your endeavors.

Many wise people and many artists have commented on the importance and power of artistic expression.  Ansel Adams, the brilliant photographer from the United States, observed that , and I quote: “Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.”.   Humans have always used art to make sense of their world; to communicate truth and beauty about their world; to express their fears, hopes and dreams for themselves in this world.  But as for the relationship between international peace and artistic expression, Magic of Persia has said it best and most simply in its mission statement: that art is an essential form of international communication and that cross-cultural and artistic  exchange is both necessary and vital to fostering a dialogue of hope and progress for future generations around the world.

I agree completely with this sentiment and strongly endorse your views onthe importance of art in the human experience, and the role of artists in contributing to the quality of life for all.  The language of art connects us, reminds us of our individuality, our common experience, and our potential to achieve.  Art possesses an unusual power to unify diverse people.  Talented artists and performers are able to entertain, challenge and reward their audiences.  And at this gala event tonight, we are fortunate to view first hand, the extraordinary talents and the excellent works of some of the most distinguished contemporary Iranian Artists. "

Sheikh Nayahan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Magical Nights 2012

Our love for Persian art is inevitably a love for Persia itself. The spirit, the intelligence, the talent, the beauty of the people. Empires and dynasties, kings, presidents, parliaments and regimes come and go, the people persist… and the people leave their character in their art. We admire Persian artists, we admire their imagination and skill and we express our love for Persian art.

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