She carries her dreams. She also carries the resolve and talent to achieve those dreams. Her talents have made her confident. The confidence pushes her to follow her dreams relentlessly.
Samah al-Lulu is a young Palestinian woman born and brought up in Qatar. An IT graduate, artist, martial art black belt and an enthusiastic sportswoman, Samah has fast been finding her feet as a creative person.
Samah has always been fascinated with art, reading books, following activities like horse riding, cycling, karate, running, ice skating, wheel skating and tennis.
Community recently caught up with Samah and spoke to her about her aspirations, achievements, and future plans.
Samah has always loved to draw faces. “Since childhood, I have been drawing human faces. I used to draw the faces of my friends at school at first, and then, in the university. I would always give away the drawings to my friends as gifts.”
The Palestinian expatriate finds an inner voice always calling her towards creative arts. “After university education, I got a job. I used to sit in the office and just work. However, a child inside me always called me to be an artist. Further, the environment around me in Qatar was fast becoming artistic friendly.
“In 2011, I joined Visual Art Center in Katara. I wanted to find myself, whether or not I was capable of being an artist. I took some lessons and soon realised that I could draw and paint. One of my teachers was very nice to me and always used to encourage me, saying that I had the talent and should continue painting. For the first time, I took part in an exhibition held at Amphitheatre at Katara in 2011. Subsequently, I took part in different art competitions. It was in 2014 that I won the second prize, worth QR50,000, during the Annual Dhow Festival. It was a major step forward for me.”
Samah has since been taking part in dhow festivals. The most recent exhibition she took part was named Qurrat, in 2018. “I had to create about 100 artworks within two months to be a participant of the exhibition at Fire Station. I also created sculptures of skulls and skeletons. I wanted to show the audience that all human beings have similar kind of skull and skeleton. The people however, judge each other from their skin colour and outfit. From within we are all the same. So we need to pay more attention on the character of the people. We also need to look into ourselves.
“I created a sort of maze underlining four phases of life. The first phase was about the childhood and family life. The second one highlighted school life. The third one portrayed university life and the final one talked about practical life. I showed how people are stuck in the maze before they die. The maze however, had four doors to exit the cycle.”
Samah is a good writer, too. She also has interest in dance and performed in different cultural events at Indian Cultural Center. The artist also made a short film as a part of the Qurrat exhibition. She wrote the script and acted in the film.
The artist continued to explore her talent and follow her dreams. “It was in 2016, I got a kind of real inspiration from Indian movie star Salman Khan, in general, and his movie Sultan, in particular. I am inspired by his doing of hard work despite the fact he has everything in life.
“As I had a dream of becoming a karate fighter, I joined an Indian karate school in Qatar in August 2016. After a lot of training and hard work, I got black belt in December 2018. From art, I moved towards martial art [she laughs]. I was a very slim girl when young and people around me used to tell me that I was weak and they could knock me down with one blow. However, I joined the karate classes not to be physically tough but mentally strong. I actually want to face others and not to fight them.
“Both art and martial art have been a good combination helping me in dealing with all sorts of stresses and challenges that life can throw. The most important thing in life is to find yourself, no matter how you do it.”
When asked what genre of art she is most interested in, Samah said: “I like impressionism. I am an impressionistic artist. I love to do realistic things, but in an impressionistic way. I want the audience to feel my art. I can do both realistic and abstract art, but l love impressionistic. I think this form of art gives life to a painting. It gives audience all the emotions and they can go beyond the painting.
“I mainly use knife pallet to draw on canvas. I prefer to paint in oil colours.”
Samah goes on to say: “Art has actually given me confidence and wisdom that I have a purpose in life. I express myself. As a Muslim, I get my real inspiration from Quran. Art however, gives me expression.”
Samah has so much love for Qatar that she calls it her country. “After finding myself, I want to do something for my country — Qatar where I was born and raised. I wanted to have a solo exhibition only highlighting life and landscape of the country. I have already worked out a name for the exhibition — that is Wardat ul Sahra (Flower of Desert). I have got inspiration from the recently opened Museum of Qatar.”
Samah believes that all human beings are artists. “I believe we all are artists. We have a purpose in our birth. If Allah has given you some talent, go use it and help others. We do not need to challenge each other. We need to challenge ourselves. We need to be a better version of ourselves. It can work as a divine solution to live peacefully with each other.”
The Palestinian talent praises Qatar for promoting art and artists of all sorts. “There are lots of opportunities for artists. Art has really been growing here in the last few years.
“I also want to take my artwork out of Qatar as well to show the talent of the country. Especially, I want to show the world my sculptures of skeletons and skulls that have earned a lot of praise for me.”
Photos of the artist by Jayram Art photos supplied
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