Alanoud al-Ghamdi has transformed a passion for calligraphy into public art pieces that express messages of hope and inspiration.
A student at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a QF partner university, al-Ghamdi was selected in November 2020 to participate in JEDARIART, Qatar Museum’s initiative to infuse Doha with murals and meaningful street art.
For JEDARIART, al-Ghamdi used the kufic script, a geometric style used for the Holy Qur’an translation and architectural design, to create a striking mural at Qatar National Library’s metro station in Education City. “I chose the prayer, ‘and say, My Lord, increase me in knowledge,’ because Education City is a place where people from all over the world gather to seek knowledge,” she said.
Al-Ghamdi’s art is also featured elsewhere in Doha.
Earlier in the pandemic, she created a mural at the quarantine compound, again in collaboration with Qatar Museums.“The mural presents the word ‘HOPE’ in geometric art and a fusion of positive colours. In the midst of a pandemic, it’s sometimes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Abdulrahman al-Ishaq, director of public art at Qatar Museums, said: "The Umm Slal quarantine compound initiative enabled us to infuse positivity into the living space of Covid-19 patients and healthcare workers. Qatar Museums is grateful to all the artists who volunteered their time to create murals that deliver a message of hope in extremely challenging times."
In 2019, al-Ghamdi worked in collaboration with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy on four murals at the Education City stadium.
Titled ‘Authenticity,’ the paintings present verses from the national anthem of Qatar. “I wanted to showcase that our modern, cultural heritage is the inspiration for a bright future,” she said.
Studying business administration at CMU-Q, al-Ghamdi has also found ways to develop her artistic expression.
She designed the cover of the CMU-Q student art anthology, and started a club that offers Arabic calligraphy tutorial sessions to students and staff. “I always wanted to share my love for Arabic calligraphy with others who haven’t been introduced to it yet,” she said.
Al-Ghamdi sees her art as a natural extension of her studies at CMU-Q. “Being a CMU-Q student taught me that it’s important to increase our knowledge, since it’s as infinite as the universe.”
Al-Ghamdi also expressed her thanks to her parents: “They are my number one supporters of my small and big achievements, academic and non-academic. Without them, I would not have been able to achieve anything.”
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