Art Fair 2011

The struggle after lost love, Yemen's revolution, animal cruelty, LGBT rights and 3sqalan are the main contents that my booth at Amman Street Art Fair 2011 was based upon. It had 14 drawings (mostly ink/pencil sketches and acrylic color paintings) and 5 photographs. I have always wanted to portray and bring recognition to deprived freedoms, diversities and feelings through simple yet expressive art, and this was just that.

The photography was taken in Yemen last month, I wanted to show the peaceful side of Sana'a, the one that the media and news don't portray since the revolution. As for the drawings, I had little descriptions next to the ones I wanted to express more through, which gave me a chance to clarify certain feelings that the drawings had and were not necessarily apparent; feelings that are often felt and not shared, like vulnerability and uncontrol over oneself.
I gave 3sqalan his own side of the booth where he told his story, was introduced to new people and talked about Handala.

The event was outdoor, there were bands, movie nights, graffiti and about 20 other artist booths. I got to meet some crazy talented people, and spent five days surrounded with art and support. And by support I mean Enas; the one and only Anooseh.
This is my first art exhibition, and hopefully won't be the last. Specially with 3sqalan's plans on my mind.

A Beggar's Doaa

My name is ne'ma (meaning blessing). I'm ten years old. One of my legs is bandaged. People tell me I have a pretty face. They stop by to give me coins at times. Some give me paper money; what my mother awaits for every night. She's an old woman, my mother. I want to tell her that things would be better so she would stop crying at night. I want to tell her that her prayers would be answered, but I don't know if God hears her.

We live in a small place. My father used to work for our building's owner, until war came. He worked for late hours and was out when the sky rained red. I wonder what he had done for mother to pray that he'd be forgiven every night.
"He traveled to our village and they have no cars to bring him back," She would tell me when I ask where he went.
I remember his talks about our relatives and stories of history. His one pair of black shoes is still on the blue carpet by the door. Mother cleans them whenever we're back from a long day away from home and they grab a bit of dust.

I've had two car accidents this week from standing at the traffic lights. One of which my leg was hurt. The green light had turned red and I was waiting at a car's window, held on to it, talking to the driver, until it moved. I jumped back to the ground but couldn't stand. I saw mother running towards me, yelling at the driver, as I was taken to the sidewalk. I woke up later with a pain in my left leg and a bandage.

Mother and I go back home at sunset everyday. We take the bus to downtown. The sky looks like the painting I see in the antique shop. I see people from the window as cars pass by. I usually fall asleep until we get to our neighborhood. We get off the bus and go to bakery to get bread with the coins we have. Mother would take me by the hand, we cross the street, then she leaves my hand to reach her pocket under her vail and find the door's keys. I go to bed as she prepares dinner, then wake up to the smell.

I sometimes dream of a day that passed two years ago. It was right after my father traveled. We needed money, mother didn't have a job and couldn't find one for her age. She told me to go out and ask for money. It was my first time. That day, I gathered a lot of coins, it made mother want me to go out more.

Sometimes I wonder if someone would've taken care of me and mother I wouldn't have had to go out that day. Sometimes it's all I think about.