El Khalil

International Advisory Board Member & 2021 Impact Award Jury Member



Maya El Khalil is an independent curator, who collaborates with international institutions on socially engaged projects and develops multidisciplinary exhibitions with a focus on addressing the environmental and climate emergency.


Maya El Khalil is an independent curator based in Oxford, UK. As founding director of Athr Gallery in Jeddah from 2009–2016, she pioneered exhibition approaches and cultural exchange in the absence of local public art institutions, making significant contributions to the establishment and development of a contemporary art scene in Saudi Arabia. For the last decade, she has continued to work with artists, collectors, and institutions to develop the identity and ideas that have defined an art scene, participating in multiple artist mentorship programs in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

El Khalil is currently collaborating with international institutions on progressive socially engaged exhibitions, developing multidisciplinary conversations that address the environmental and climate emergency, including the ongoing digital platform Take Me to the River in collaboration with Goethe Institut and Prince Claus Fund. El Khalil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the American University of Beirut. She is enrolled in MA Art and Politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

"Desert X AlUla" curated by Maya El Khalil and Marcello Dantas, courtesy of The Royal Commission of AlUla