If you thought 2007 was exciting, hold on tight because 2009 has many more surprises in store. In this issue, we preview the opening of The Arts of Islam exhibition in Abu Dhabi and look forward to Word into Art Dubai. Beyond the Arabian Gulf, we head to London and visit Leighton House, a veritable island of Victorian Orientalism in the heart of the British capital. Tony Shafrazi welcomes Canvas into his renowned New York gallery while Maryam Eisler opens the door to her London home. We also examine the work of Ghass Rouzkhosh and Nedim Kufi, who served on opposing sides of the Iran-Iraq war before pursuing very distinctive artistic careers.