the bee kingdom: research, writing, art

The Bee Kingdom ( is a project by Joy Amina Garnett. Drawing on materials left behind by her late grandfather, Egyptian Romantic poet Ahmed Zaky Abushady (1892-1955), she explores lost family histories through creative writing, print making, artist books, and new media. She is currently writing a family memoir.


In Spring 2020, the collection found a home at the Archives and Special Collections of NYU Abu Dhabi Library in the midst of the global pandemic. Please visit:

The Story of the Abushady Archive – MELA 2020-[Slides PDF]

19 October, 2020: The story of how the collection found a home at the Archives and Special Collections of NYU Abu Dhabi Library in the midst of a global pandemic. 19 October: Recovering Hidden/Historical/Special Collections. Conference theme: “Pandemic, Crisis, and Cultural Institutions: The Intersection of Library Work with COVID-19 and Other Crises.”

Immigrant Zero” by the late Maged Atiya commemorates the anniversary of A.Z. Abushady’s death (April 12, 1955) and the plight of Egyptian liberal thinkers. (First published on SalamaMousa: reclaiming Egypt).

Please visit The Bee Kingdom research site and and


“The Lost Narratives of A.Z. Abushady, Poet and Bee Master,” by Joy Garnett,  Cultural Entanglement in the Pre-Independence Arab World: Arts, Thought, and Literature, edited by Anthony Gorman and Sarah Irving. Published by I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury (2020). The material draws on a workshop held at the Centre for Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW), University of Edinburgh.

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Excerpts from a memoir-in-progress:

Lesser Meats, Two Coats of Paint, June 14, 2022

Life Drawing, Evergreen Review, S/S 2022

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Please visit:


Current Exhibition:

Rubenstein Arts Center
Duke University, Durham, NC
August 16 – September 18
Traveling exhibition. Premiers at the Rubenstein Arts Center, presented by Duke Arts in collaboration with Duke Islamic Studies Center. More info.

ARTISTS: Abbas Rattani
, Abdullah Qureshi
, Ahad Mahmood, 
Aisha Jemila, 
Amine Naima, 
Anum Awan, 
Driss Chaoui
, Hisham Akira Bharoocha, 
Jameel Paulin, 
Joy Amina Garnett
, Matthew Brooks
, Mélika Hashemi
, Mounir Fatmi, 
Nabi H. Ali, Roya Ahmadi, Saba Taj
, Safiya Zerrougui
, Safwat Saleem
, Saks Afridi
, Samira Idroos
, Sanya Dosani
, Sara Alfageeh
, Sarah-Mecca Abdourahman, 
Shahzia Sikander
, Shimul Chowdhury, 
Tijay Mohammed
, Yasmeen Abedifard
, Yussef Cole & Saniya Ahmed
, Yusuf Siddiquee
, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto