Mourning the loss of Tarek Al-Ghoussein

Dear members of the NYU Abu Dhabi community,

We write with great sadness to let you know that Tarek Al-Ghoussein, MFA Program Director and Professor of Visual Arts, has passed away in New York City.

Tarek joined NYU Abu Dhabi in 2013 as an Arts Professor of Visual Arts, having previously taught at the American University of Sharjah. He was granted tenure at NYUAD as a Professor of Visual Arts in 2019.

Tarek’s works have been collected by museums around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Freer Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., the British Museum in London, the Royal Museum of Photography in Copenhagen, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, the Sharjah Biennial Collection in the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, and at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Tarek cherished his Palestinian and Kuwaiti heritage. In 2013, he was chosen to represent Kuwait at the 55th Venice Biennale. Throughout his career he exhibited extensively in Europe, the United States, and the Arab world, including impressive solo shows at The Third Line in Dubai, Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi, CAP Kuwait in Kuwait, the Nevada Museum of Art in the U.S., and the Kalfayan Galleries in Athens, Greece. The Sharjah Art Museum honored him with A Retrospective: Works from 2003-2010.

Tarek earned his bachelor’s degree in fine arts, with a specialization in photography, from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a master’s degree in fine arts, and photography, at the University of New Mexico.
Above all, Tarek was a pillar of the rapidly growing arts community in the UAE, a founding faculty member of our programs in the visual arts, and a staunch supporter of the NYUAD Art Gallery.

We extend our profound condolences to Tarek’s family and loved ones. We are in contact with his family and we will continue to offer them support.

Employees who would like to speak with a counselor about this loss may contact the NYUAD Employee Well-Being Program, which offers support to all NYUAD employees and their family members. Employees can also utilize the services for employees provided by the LightHouse Center for Wellbeing.

Students who feel they may need additional support may access 24/7 counseling services through NYU's Wellness Exchange at +971-2-628-5555, or by contacting the NYUAD Student Health Center at +971-2-628-8124 or to schedule an appointment.

In sorrow,

Mariët Westermann and Arlie Petters