This deck has been printed in a limited edition of 1000 copies. Card dimensions are 70mm x 120mm. Cards are printed on 350gsm art paper, finished with UV varnish, and edged with dark gilt. Cards are packaged in a specially designed tuck box. The deck includes alternative Man and Woman cards, plus an additional wildcard.
I first had the idea of putting together a deck based in an Arabian theme in 2014. In my career I was posted to many different locations around the world, and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit many countries in the Middle East and the Maghreb (Northern Africa).
On my visits I was amazed by the artistic accomplishments of the many different civilisations which have occupied this region over the ages. In particular, an extended private visit to Syria and Lebanon instilled in me a deep admiration for Islamic architecture and design.
I decided early in the process the tI wasn't going to create a deck in a specifically 'Arabian' style - rather that I'd use a more romantic approach which reflected a vision of Arabia sen through the eyes of a bedazzled outsider.
I wanted to capture some of the wonder the tI'd experienced when visiting the region. In this respect I'm following a long established tradition within European art. I'm aware that this perhaps leaves me open to accusations of cultural appropriation and exoticism, charges to which I'm more than happy to confess guilt.
This deck id deliberately intended as a nostalgic mirage based on my own encounters with the historic Arab world, not as an authentic contemporary portrait. Aware, however, of the risk of unintentional cultural insensitivity, I've taken guidance from friends and colleagues from the region while putting together the deck. I'm extremely grateful for their warm support and encouraging feedback.
This has been an extremely rewarding project to work on and I hope the the results are accepted as a respectful tribute to a region whose cultural achievements are often much under-appreciated.