Walid Raad

Festival of Gratitude

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Featured Cake

Alexander Lukashenko

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The story of Festival of Gratitude as told by Walid Raad

As a teenager growing up in Beirut my favorite pastry shop was Noura. It is still there today. I adored their Mango tarts, but just could not afford them. So, I hatched a plan: what if I offered my budding photographic skills to the owner, in exchange for tarts?

My plan worked. I got the job, and worked day and night, picturing all the cakes and tarts I fancied. That is, until the day I came to photograph a bunny-shaped birthday cake for Amine. All of a sudden it dawned on me that ‘Amine’ might be the divisive President of Lebanon, Amine Gemayel, who was known for his bunny fetish and sweet tooth.

I started to fantasize about poisoning the cake, but just could not go through with it. My cowardice got me thinking about all the adored and/or despised world leaders, and their birthday cakes.

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Festival of Gratitude

  • Vladimir Putin

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  • Hugo Chávez

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  • Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

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  • Yasser Arafat

    Not For Sale

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  • Alexander Lukashenko

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  • Hafez al-Assad

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  • Margaret Thatcher

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  • Benjamin Netanyahu

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  • Francisco Franco

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  • Omar al-Bashir

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  • Hosni Mubarak

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  • Muammar Gaddafi

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  • Ronald Reagan

    Not for Sale

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  • Robert Mugabe

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  • Recep Erdoğan

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  • Saddam Hussein

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  • Mustafa Kamal Atatürk

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  • Viktor Orbán

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  • Ayatollah Khomeini

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  • Mao Zedong

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Alexander Lukashenko

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Proceeds from NFT sales benefit ArtEast. ArtEast is a leading New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging a growing global audience with the contemporary arts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).