"Gallery AlSharq" the 35th team to qualify for this year's MIT semi-finalist round


This story is provided by MIT Enterprise Forum - Pan-Arab Region.

Jordanian “Gallery AlSharq” has been selected as one of the semi-finalist teams for this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Start-Up Competition for the Startups Track.

Between fully hired, outsourcing and advisory workers, a team of 10 men and women who have a combined 102 years of experience, founded in October 2011 Gallery AlSharq. Gallery AlSharq

is a provider of high quality and exclusive oriental and Middle Eastern stock photography in addition to audio-video and digital content highlighting the cultural identity of the MENA region.


After spending more than 10 years in the advertising field, it was visible to Riham Mahafzah how the market lacks authentic Middle Eastern images that reflect the right Arab and Muslim identities that are actually stereotyped as a terrorist one.

This is when she felt ready to start her own business to fill this gap and highlight that identity and help designers to find relevant images by initiating Gallery AlSharq Company.

Problem and solution

“Finding images with identity relevant to our region is a time consuming and difficult process for creative people in the advertising field” says Riham. She felt responsible of a cause and a duty towards her community, heritage and culture which she considers misused and even abused.

Gallery AlSharq works at customizing new, unique and true images about traditions, oriental habits, Ramadan, Hajj, Palestine and many else. Images go through quality assurance process that examines and customizes content. Gallery AlSharq is also determined on highlighting, focusing and exposing the art of Arab photographers and honoring the pioneers by willing to feature 3 leaders from each Arab country in a private portal on their website.

Recent 300 photographers who join Gallery AlSharq from all over the Arab world are given the opportunity to generate revenue from their work when sold.

Furthermore, the gallery will be organizing photography competitions to reward new talents, as well as photography courses offered in collaboration with photography houses in each country.

Advice for entrepreneurs

“Applying to MIT competition and being qualified to the second phase enables us to develop our entrepreneurial and management knowledge and skills, learn about other management and leadership styles, and expand our connections in the Arab world and MENA region to reach broaden our clients and resources base.”

As for entrepreneurs, Gallery AlSharq diffuses a heartfelt advice “The Business model should be focused, the more focused the better he knows the target and easier to reach; it's not about the size of the staff, it's about the relevance of each experience needed to develop the business”.

Find out more about Gallery AlSharq by:

Watching a 1 minute video pitch about their project here

Visiting their website: galleryalsharq.com

Liking their Facebook page: facebook.com/GalleryAlSharq

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