Whether culturally or geographically, many are unaware of the people and the place that is the Middle East. Iconic sites such as the Great Pyramid of Giza or the Dead Sea mask the darker and harsh reality of the humanitarian crises that have transpired as a result of wars and conflict in the region.
This violence has spawned a volume of refugees near the eight figures. The following artwork, Hopeless, Gaze, Earnest Prayer, and Arab Spring, all portray the tragedies refugees face on both a historical and personal level.
Hopeless illustrates the refugees’ situation by showing people drifting, falling, and struggling in the sea; it depicts the reality of refugees who cannot settle anywhere and are alienated and excluded.
Gaze is a portrait of refugee families who have had to endure the cold gaze of many people as they wander from one country to another. Through their facial expressions and emotions, I tried to portray the emptiness and vulnerability of refugee life.
Earnest Prayer features a Middle Eastern woman who desperately wishes to come out from behind iron bars, symbolizing the symbolic jail she faces in her society. Using 3D mixed media, the figure of the hand of a middle-aged woman and the hand with a black and white pencil drawing of suffering refugees expresses the earnest prayers of those who want to communicate with the world.
Arab Spring is a painting that shows the victory and joy of the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa between 2010 and 2012. In this painting, I portrayed the freedom and joy of people taking their freedom from dictatorship and oppression.