Arab Woman Platform representative in Jeddah Maha Saleh met with the Iraqi artist Ferial Al Athami and the poet loay Taha , highlighting the artist art exhibition, which was held at the University of Effat in Jeddah on Sunday May 1st.
Starting with the exhibition’s name – in admiration of our homeland that beats in our hearts and welive for- I ask:
(The Answers were written by the poet Loay Taha )
How many homelands rest under the strokes of paintbrushes?
If you contemplate details around us; even details of love you will find that hearts are frightened even from the color of red roses. From all the blood shed that is lost even before people have a chance to collect their belongings; many that are still alive but bleed on the soil of their homelands. You sharing all these details, like me and everyone else will inevitably stumble upon the answer….you’ll need a large space, to hold every kind of brush and color to cover up the stain of blood that drips, with new colors of hope and love, which even the sky seeks to understand the reasoning behind people’s actions in this world. My dear friend we need so much for our nations.
How can the strokes of a paint brush weave into the national anthem?
The paintbrush is one of the many playing instruments and words are its harmony, which must be accompanied by color, it is definitely on us and on each one with a pulsing heart filled with love to hold what it can to weave a new anthem to a new homeland. No longer there is what remains of our homelands that resembles our memories that we left behind. It became difficult for us to find the house that we were born in, and the neighborhood that we grew up in even the trees changed only what remains are the roots, and with these roots we are counting on for new hope. Surely you’ve pondered on the Iraqi brush strokes of Ferial Al Athami; the unpredictable in art, seeking another means wheedling, and the chaos in Ferial’s Al Athami’s strokes complements the recitation of the national anthem!
Do colors flatter the letters of the homeland or is it that the letters fell in love with the homeland’s colors?
Can a soul live without its body, and can the body be without a soul? The philosophy of the homeland is one of the most difficult to understand because it is greater than all meanings, its details remain difficult to contain; when we can contain the meaning of homeland then wars will end. But we still did not realize the meaning of homeland so it is arduous to appreciate it and defend it. The color is what utters the word and the word is the voice of vibrant color deepened with silence!
Through the Arabic letters that are mastered by the Iraqi artist Ferial Al Athami, you were able to demonstrate deep emotions and what I admire about it, is its sincerity to Arab civilization especially the Babylonian and Sumerian civilizations, and its tunes accompanied with the words of poets who represent the elite of those who carry on their shoulders the burden of their homeland, this impacted the artistic and provocation between the letters, colors, words and expressive pictures.
In this recession of artistic sense that targets a narrow elite segment of the Arab community, and the madness of technological sense, which includes the largest segment, what is the lifeline to continue the relationship between the letters and the brush which represents a man’s identity calling for his homeland?
We have become consumer nations more than producers. Even when expressing deep words and thoughts we do not have enough time to read, and while these modern means were created we became creatures that crawl slowly towards knowledge. We consume everything and produce nothing but emptiness and nothingness! The term lifeline is actually larger than the reality of the worn out Arab man and who will fall out of development and become extinct to end up just an illusion. I do not know if history will write down our names? And if we will be remembered in time in a later era. A few that do not have strength are struggling and defending and the vast majority are in darkness absent and unaware of what is happening and to justify they believe that they can do nothing to defend our art and the survival of our nations and their beauty.
Does the word combined with the paintbrush and colors reflect the state of the melancholy, or does it represent a case of identity that carries a lot of depth and beauty?
The idea behind the partnership that has been held with the Iraqi artist Ferial does not mean just the harmony of the words and colors because it is not the first of its kind and we are not the only ones who presented this. The idea was to build Arab bridges starting with art till it reaches a true partnership of Arab unity of conscience, emotions and one blood; so the means are a lot larger than an artistic breakthrough or a beautiful painting, it is a deep harmony entwined with Damascene jasmines and with the Iraqi palms a dream to combine the green of Iraqi palm trees and the white of Damascene jasmines.
Finally I would like to thank your gentle spirit and your delicate interview, as well as my appreciation and thanks to the Arab Woman Platform, for your selective rich conversation, all my respect to the journalist who loves her homeland and roots Maha Saleh.