The Six: Middle East-based graffiti artists to watch out for

Artist Suhaib Attar is from Amman, Jordan. (AFP)
Updated 10 November 2018
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The Six: Middle East-based graffiti artists to watch out for

DUBAI: These Middle East-based graffiti artists are redefining the urban landscape in cities across the region.
Suhaib Attar
The graffiti artist from Amman, Jordan, was part of a small group working across the city to “transform these great big walls of dull concrete into an expressive painting that is full of life,” he told AFP last year.

eL Seed
Tunisian street artist and calligrapher eL Seed is one of the best-known graffiti artists in the region. He has created murals across the Middle East, from Egypt to Lebanon and beyond.
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In 2015, I painted this mural in Shoreditch, London. The wall is gone today. That was part of the agreement. As I was walking by this street today, I reflected on the quote that I used. It reads the words of John Locke : “It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error and another to put him in possession of truth” I chose this quote as I was making this piece weeks after the massacre in Sousse, Tunisia, and the shooting in Charleston the same month. As an artist coming to the UK, I thought the quote could open up a dialogue about the collective responsibility we have toward each other. When somethig wrong happens, we always put blame on someone else. But the responsibility lies with all of us. It is our responsibility to find a way to keep it from happening. #london #collectiveresponsibility #locke #fortheloveofpink

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Yazan Halwani
Lebanese graffiti artist Yazan Halwani, who started experimenting with the art form in 2007, is known for focusing on the shape, rather than the meaning, of the Arabic calligraphy he paints.
Fats Patrol
The Indian-Canadian artist was born and raised in Dubai and boasts work that is inspired by everything from Indian block printing to Arab henna styles and calligraphy.
Dina Saadi
Born in Russia, raised in Syria and currently based in Dubai, Dina Saadi has worked with brands like Apple, Instagram and Uber. Her bright color palette and recurring female symbols make her work immediately identifiable.
Myneandyours
Artist Marwan Shakarchi’s most recognized symbol is a cloud with facial features. His work is vibrant, boldly defined and striking.


Life lessons from inspirational women — Alexis

Music artist 'Alexis.' (Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2019
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Life lessons from inspirational women — Alexis

  • UAE-based singer-songwriter, Alexis just released her album “This Is Me”
  • She talks tolerance, proving yourself, and the power of words

DUBAI: The UAE-based singer-songwriter, who just released her album “This Is Me,” talks tolerance, proving yourself, and the power of words

I’m very demanding of myself, which is a contradiction, because I’m so understanding and accepting of the weaknesses of other people, but I’m not that kind to myself. But I don’t mind laughing at myself either.

 

I’ve been guilty, earlier in my career, of trying to force situations. Sometimes pushing is good, but allowing things to happen in their own time is also a valuable skill. It’s not necessarily about the destination; it’s the journey. And if you can allow yourself to enjoy the journey, you’ll get there eventually — perhaps in a better condition.

 

My father encouraged me to be an individual thinker. He’s a man who has roots in a very conservative, male-driven culture, but he was raised by a woman who wasn’t afraid to break the mold. He advised me that because of what I look like, and being a woman, I would always need to be more than just adequately prepared: “If you’re required to know two things for a job, when you walk in there you need to know four or six things.”

 

I know it’s probably just something parents tell their kids to help them get through difficult situations, but I think that “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you” thing is such nonsense. Words can hurt. They can cause incredible damage. It’s important for us to realize the impact of what we say, how we say it, and to whom. Words have power.

 

I handled my own business from the very beginning, so I found myself at 18 going into meetings with executives who were in their 40s and 50s. And of course I was a child to them. So having them look beyond the physical thing and realize that I was very serious about my work and knew what I was talking about was a challenge. It’s easy to see me as a fashion horse. It’s harder to see that I’m a worker. Get past the window dressing and I’ve got quality merchandise. But I survived life with older brothers. I think I can tackle anything at this point.

 

Men and women are equally capable, but in different ways. It’s a bit of a generalization, but we have to accept that different people have different methodologies.