I was born and raised in war-torn Lebanon. My artistic journey started there in the 1990s, during which I studied and practiced Plastic Arts/ Sacred Arts and the restoration of icons. I was looking to formulate a content and express it in the academic, civil society and artistic spheres, mainly on war memory, inter-human dialogue and peace. Restoring a physical icon of the 16th c. C.E. was equivalent to restoring my damaged inner-self and contributing to change within my society. I never stopped believing in the importance of healing individual and collective wounds caused by physical and psychological wars.
This belief still incarnates in my paintings, whether I deal with the issue of women’s rights or intercultural/interreligious dialogue. Furthermore, my personal quest for catharsis as a war survivor and my belief in both the inevitability of the transmission of war memories in most private and public contexts and the urgency of a collective healing process that would include all social strata made me acknowledge the input of downplayed narratives and silenced voices in the construction of an inclusive, pluralistic and convivial national memory, history and identity in Lebanon.
Pamela Chrabieh is Lebanese and Canadian. She holds a Ph.D. in Sciences of Religions from the Université de Montréal (Québec- Canada) and is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Dubai (AUD- United Arab Emirates). Author of many books including Icônes du Liban (Carte Blanche – Canada, 2004), A la rencontre de l’Islam (Médiaspaul – Canada, 2006), Voix-es de paix au Liban (Dar el Machreq – Lebanon, 2008) and Womanhood in Western Asia (in Arabic, Dar el Machreq – 2013), she is the founder of the Red Lips High Heels’ movement and online platforms.
I am a Palestinian refugee of Syria and currently a resident of the United Arab Emirates. I am a film student in Dubai, and I am inspired by peace, coexistence, and humanity. Photography and film are powerful tools to connect with people, and reach out to their feelings of empathy. Media of all types is the fuel of the Arab youth and it is a tool that needs to be used to spread a message of peace and love to the future generations of our earth.
As a Bahraini artist with a background in studio art and graphic design, it is no surprise that I would eventually dabble in the art of photography as a quicker means to express my thoughts. I wasn’t at all interested in the thousand words a picture had to say… No, I was more concerned with the thousand other words that were left unsaid. What exactly is my aim in art? It’s simply to grab your attention and keep it. To leave you hanging in midair by the thinnest thread possible. To be able to have you become consumed with the idea that throughout our lives we have been placed neatly in boxes and set on a predetermined path in life by society. To firmly stand by the idea that the culture that breathed life into us is one that believes we are all nothing but chess pieces in the wondrous game called “life”.
The art I create is no more than a figurative mirror held in front of society. The world is filled to the rim with untouched issues that demand attention and as a connoisseur for all manners regarded as “taboo”, I feel as though it is my duty to aid in exposing reality. Although I grew up in a humble and loving household, I was a child with a twisted mentality and a certain level of distaste for fiction. The fact is, the more I refrained from being pulled into the fantastical show put on by my upbringing, the more I found myself being infatuated with what was going on behind the lush red velvet curtains.
You see, many say I have my head in the clouds, but I believe that’s precisely where my mind is supposed to be.
Karma Bou Saab
Karma Bou Saab is a marketing student at the American University in Dubai who was born and raised in the mountains of Lebanon. After moving away from home in pursuit of opportunities, Karma has found echoes of inspiration calling from Beirut. As a result, she harnessed these inspirational calls to fuel her passion towards the art scene. In addition, Karma enjoys travelling in order to indulge in cultures and make friends around the globe. She is notorious to what lies outside her comfort zone and is in constant search for experiences that allow for self-growth.
Masooma Rana is a Senior at the American School of Dubai and is seventeen years old. She has lived in Pakistan, the United States, Canada, and Dubai. Masooma has had a long time appreciation for the visual arts since she was very young. She usually uses pencils or paints as her main medium, but she has also recently taken up digital art and photography as well. Masooma loves how she can express herself through simple brushstrokes or capturing a single moment through her camera lens. She loves to create for others, be it a complex stage set for a play or an illustration for a friend. She works to improve her skills in the field of digital art and photography, and hopes to make great achievements in those areas. Masooma considers herself a feminist and one of her favorite artists is Georgia O’Keeffe.