Last Sunday evening a venerable gathering
of family, friends and associates of the late
Khalid Shoman were invited by his widow
Suha, daughter Aysha and son Omar to the
site of the Byzantine Church of Darat al
Funun for a memorial event to the
esteemed Deputy Chairman and President
of Arab Bank Ltd. who passed away last
year. The solemn yet uplifting ceremony
was made so by the choral-like chants as
performed by a Tunisian Sufi musical group.
With the spirituality of the moment, as
doves sailed overhead, Khalid Shoman's
friends said they could feel his gentle presence.

Jennifer Hamarneh,
The Jordan Times, 5/7/2002



A new exhibition concept

In keeping with its tradition of presenting
ground-breaking exhibits, Darat Al Funun
has set a new standard in exhibition design
with a commemorative exhibition about the
life and work of Khalid Shoman. What
others could have treated as a traditional
photo exhibition was elevated to new

Darat al Funun developed a concept that gave each of the three bays of the main house a unique spirit and role


A concept was developed that gives each of the three bays or halls of the main house of Darat Al Funun a unique role. The middle bay was designated as a photo exhibition portraying Khalid Shoman with family and friends. Mr Shoman's hobby of deep sea fishing dominated this hall with an enlarged, wall size image of his last fishing trip against the backdrop of a rippled sea.

The other two bays on the left and the right, acted as poles, one focusing on Mr Shoman's accomplishments as one of the Arab world's most prominent bankers in the 20th century, while the
other presenting a spiritual space for contemplation.

The "banker" zone adopted a corporate design language, with 9 glass information panels focusing on specific areas of activity of Mr Shoman's banking leadership at the Arab Bank, a giant financial institution his father, Abdulhameed Shoman establishen 1931 in Palestine. Large headlines applied on Plexi-glass dividers where hung from the
ceiling, giving the space a distinct typographic character. A dominant element that broke the rythem of the panels and dividers was an internet booth where visitors could browse the Shoman
website and leave electronic guest book entries. The walls also were treated as informational surfaces on which quotes from Mr Shoman's speeches and annual report messages were applied.

Contrasting this information-rich space was the other pole: the spiritual room. That a spiritual space could incorporate high tech elements is something straight from Suha Shoman's experimental approach. With her digital camera she shot hours of unique footage in Petra from their home overlooking an impressive panorama of mountains and hills.

This video material which documents sunrises, sunsets, mist, clouds and the interplay of sunlight with the landscape's topography was edited and projected on a wall, complemented with an enlarged photo of Petra's mountains and a black and white photograph of Mr Shoman.

The video image's digital aesthetic is contrasted by
a grid of Petra stones arranged by Mrs Shoman on the
floor in a grid formation. The interplay between the
immaterial digital pixels of the projected video and
the material realness of the stone arrangement,
together in the context of Darat Al Funun's
architectural space, suspends the viewer in a state of

by Ahmad Humeid