Young Palestinian artist, Mohamed Qraiqea, has travelled to at least seven countries to spread his message of freedom and new beginnings through his paintings of the daily struggles in conflict-torn Palestine.
“I see myself as a free bird despite all the troubles that we, at Gaza, have experienced. My paintings bring the message that Palestinians will overcome and that there are other beautiful things happening in Gaza despite geo-political issues,” Qraiqea told Gulf Times on Friday on the sidelines of his four-day art exhibition entitled “Free Bird,” which concludes tomorrow at Gallery 2, Building 19 of Katara The Cultural Village.
Qraiqea said most of the subjects in the 30 paintings on exhibit are either the elderly or children: “I have combined these subjects to represent history and my aspirations; the elderly represents the past, while the children symbolise the future and the freedom of my country.”
The 15-year old painter added: “I also wish that people from other nations can study and learn from my paintings, and that the message I want to convey through my art would create a positive impact on them. As an artist, I represent my country and I want my work to show Palestine in a different light.”
Aside from Qatar, the paintings were previously exhibited in Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, and the US. In 2014, as many as 10,000 people from Gaza saw his paintings in three days when Qraiqea first launched “Free Bird.”
Qraiqea’s exhibition at Katara was made possible through El Rozana, a group of young Palestinians based in Qatar, according to member, Nasser Dahbour.
“Our group would like to show Palestine in a new and different way. We want to move away from what most people think of Palestine – that it is only a war-torn country. We are moving forward by showing how colourful our country is through the works of talented people and artists from Palestine,” Dahbour said.
“Palestine is not dark. We continue to thrive despite the daily conflicts that people are experiencing every day. Beyond the war, the crying, and the bleeding, we have many colours, skills, and new and bright ideas, among other things.”
“Free Bird” is part of our ‘Palestinian Season’, which we have recently-launched and will run until May 2017. Each month there will be one or two events featuring Palestinian artists from different genres like painting, photography, sculpting, poetry, dance, and stage.
The events, according to Dahbour, will be announced via social media.
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