Meet Mojgan Endjavi-Barbé, a fellow expat whose positive aura is quite infectious. She is a zealous campaigner for Middle Eastern art to have a stronger presence to western audiences. She is a well versed expat having lived in over 7 countries.
11 May 2015| Last updated on 8 January 2018
Mojgan is an Iranian woman full of contagious passion. Since January 2015 her work as a curator has brought her to live in Dubai. However, she is no new comer to being an expat woman. Born in Iran, she has lived across the globe, including America, France, Switzerland, England, Japan and now Dubai. Mojgan is delighted to be back in the Middle East, after growing up in Iran where she had a “happy –busy childhood playing. Being number 5 of a family of 6 children growing up in a big garden surrounded by flowers, trees, birds and being a care free child.” She originally left to study abroad at the age of 19 and has spent most of her adult life far from the region. Like most of us here in UAE, she loves living somewhere that has an overdose of sunshine.
She embraced her first experience as an expat moving to the US to study while still a teenager. Her studies brought her far from home where she chose to pursue Political Science and Sociology:
“The US was a great growing space as it allowed me to be myself, taught me to rely on myself and build confidence. Being away from my family for 5 years build my resilience and taught me to manage difficult moments.”
Anyone who has been an Expat can relate to Mojgan's journey of internal growth which one is forced to deal with when living away from home. One thing that is evident with Mojgan is her ability to highlight the positive experiences of expatriate life and what we can learn from this unique experience: “You see and learn a lot more once you live in different places and interact with local population.” From traveling around the world Mojgan has gained more insight about other people and cultures. “This makes one more humble and more tolerant about differences.”
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Mojgan shares her journey with certain relationships in her life. “Being married and becoming a mother was the most enriching and non-material experience of my life. Raising children and gardening are similar in a sense that you need patience to have beautiful flowers. It takes time but it is worth it. I am passionate about arts, working with young artists and helping them succeed. It fulfills me as a person. I think we were all born with a mission beyond our routine destiny and helping others to achieve their dreams come true makes me happy.”
One of the main reasons for the move to Dubai is to curate and lead the Mottahedan Projects. “This incentive exhibits new and emerging international contemporary art. This art venture will help artists to by being a launch pad for the wider global audience from Dubai." Mojgan sees art as an essential part of life. “Art is like a book, some you remember, some you don’t, some you read and get an instant satisfaction. I like challenges and like the art work to provoke something in me, emotions or questions. Art is a mental and emotional process and food in a way.”
Her quest with Iranian art is clear. She believes that Irianian artist have not had the opportunities to be seen by the world. She has been successful in leading projects and her mission to help artists is seeing results! Her “young artists get grants, entry into top art schools internationally, win prizes, have their work enter into public collections and shown in Museums.” Mojgan points out that this is all down to team work.
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Her other hobbies and interests “I find gardening relaxing and enjoy remembering how nature takes time to do its cycle. I slow down when I do gardening and am taken by its energy. Gardening is like meditation for me. I forget the moment I love cooking which I think is an art. I grew up with a wonderful mum who put lots of love in her cooking. It’s great cooking for my family and friends.”
She loves to travel and still would love to return to Scandinavia, Asia and India to explore them further.This expat woman is an energetic individual and full of talents. There is no doubt that she inspires all who meet her.
Home for Mojgan is wherever she is happy with family and friends. “Having lived in so many countries creates much more understanding of other culture, languages and you appreciate the positive side of each place you live Thank you for the great information ExpatWoman.com shares with the new comers. Your site is like a compass helping us find our way around Dubai.”