I am Lebanese and Cypriot, married, I have triplets, and I am specialized in Islamic calligraphy, arabesque & Christian scenes from the Bible, and Christian prayers on parchment.
The relevance of good architecture and its positive implications to the social, economic, and environmental aspects is an established fact and we have been applying those methodologies through our MEADOWS NGO in creating child-friendly and public friendly environments such as playgrounds, public spaces, roundabouts sidewalks, parks, etc.
I have been using my cartoons to document daily events unconventionally, through humor and sarcasm. (...) Humor serves as a reminder that everything worth taking seriously, is worth making fun of.
Lebanon's multiform crises accelerated greatly in the last months, which took a toll on people's everyday life, including artists. Indeed, the local arts and culture scene is suffering, and the challenges that artists and small creative enterprises have to face are piling up. Arleb by Nabad asked 61 established and emerging artists to identify the main challenges that need to be addressed on individual and collective levels. Here are a few of their answers:
Mes créations sont ma bouée de sauvetage, et cela depuis le début de ma maladie. C’est incroyable cette faculté de sentir le temps comme suspendu dès que je rentre dans les entrailles de ma bulle artistique... Plus je suis prisonnière dans mon corps, plus je ressens une pulsion de créer. C’est ma lucarne de liberté, comme une onde de lumière qui m’envahit et me fait tout oublier.
As Lebanon is in the middle of its biggest post-war crisis, ghosts of the past are very much alive. However, while the sectarian system is still in place, something amongst the population has changed. New feelings, dynamics, and hopes are being driven by the Lebanese youth. As the movie “West Beirut” turns twenty-three, its message is still alive and plays an important role in the demands for change by an increasing share of the Lebanese people.
A few years ago, I started doodling as a way of expressing my frustrations, worries, and even my anxieties. I doodled almost every day, everywhere and anywhere; and, thanks to this practice, I learned to create something funny out of the events that are pulling me down.
Shifting energies from negative to positive seems to be a continuous process for me. It feels like a repetitive pattern, but I choose to believe that hope and light are always there and that we are moving forward and upwards on the journey.
Notably, since the popular uprising of October 17th, 2019, Lebanese artists were truly able to assert their work as a tool for social upheaval. Arts and culture thus echo the pulse of a society.
I fear that, due to these difficult circumstances, the Lebanese artist will become a refugee in his/her country and abroad, especially with the disruption of most of the creative projects in Beirut or what we call(ed) “The Switzerland of the Middle East”.