A leading expert in contemporary Arab art, Saleh Barakat, 43, founded Agial Art Gallery (1991) in Beirut. As Executive Manager, he participated in building some major collections of Modern and Contemporary Arab art. Possessing a strong business background in addition to his experience in the arts, Barakat has been engaged in developing a healthy market environment for creative expression in the Arab world. He curated several pan-Arab exhibitions, including the 9th Francophone Summit in Beirut, the 2003 World Bank Summit in Dubai, and The Road to Peace: Painting in Times of War 1975-1991 at the Beirut Art Center in 2009.
He also co-curated the first national pavilion for Lebanon at the 52nd Venice Biennale and the touring exhibition Mediterranean Crossroads, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He serves on the steering Committee of the Arts Center at the American University of Beirut. He was nominated as a Yale World Fellow in 2006.