Everything I do stems from my love for the earth, world heritage, and people. Everything is dignified and connected with the natural world as I see things. I'm in awe of the mystery surrounding us daily and life's complexity, which informs all my work, nudging me to create what's meaningful, though I'll leave that up to the viewer. We cannot separate the arts from education and education from the arts—their synthesis bridges meaning-making across disciplines.
I don't have any formal art training. However, my father mentored me since the age of seven—a fantastic calligrapher and painter who taught me the value of art as a sacred tool for sharing hope and inspiration. My mother is not a painter or illustrator, though she is a fantastic cook and a keen observer and critic of the arts. She challenged me along the way, questioning the meaning of art in specific contexts, and creating a space for reflection about what I do and why. I was also fortunate to receive mentorship from excellent scholars at the University of Toronto, including studies on Yemeni-style architecture by Dr. Edward Keall, Al-Andalus history & Islamic art by Dr. Linda Northrtup, Persian miniature art by Dr. Todd Lawson, and Iznik-style ceramics by Dr. Lisa Golombek at the Royal Ontario Museum. In my undergraduate years, I received mentorship in Hispanic art and literature at Western University from Dr. Juan Luis Suarez, Dr. Rafael Montano, Dr. Dominique Russell, Dr. Joyce Bruhn de Gravito, and Dr. Marjorie Ratcliffe.
I received my Master of Arts from the University of Toronto and my Bachelor of Arts from Western University. I'm also a lifelong learner currently and a PhD candidate at Western university, working on a new method for digital art programming in museums. I'm awaiting my thesis defense day! Almost done! It's a fascinating time.
Since my teens, I have wanted to be a professional artist. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I couldn't pursue art full-time in my early 20s. Despite whatever kind of divergence, I always had a paintbrush in my hand. I pursued art professionally in my early 30s - It's never too late to do what we love. Thank God for having amazing mentors, friends, and family for their unwavering support. Through my art, I try to convey compelling messages about those common passions, struggles, hopes, dreams, and truths that we all share as humans. I believe art is an appreciation for some aspect of life, and it's transformative when we channel hope and beauty through it. When we cook a good meal, we care for the combination of ingredients and their harmony. It's the same with art.
As a Canadian-Lebanese, I tap into my heritage and roots, which provide a dynamic framework for my artistic practice. The Hispanic culture has also tremendously influenced my work, having studied the Spanish language for over 20 years and being immersed in its culture and literature.
I have participated in multiple art shows in Toronto and internationally in Spain and the UK. I'm working right now toward a solo exhibition in Toronto, which is very exciting since Toronto is my sweet home - I have so much love for this city. It's also exciting to think about future shows. I'd love to share my work with communities in Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Gaza, Dubai, Doha, Damascus, Marakesh, New York, London, Dallas, Quebec City, Tokyo, Bogota, Budapest, Sevilla, Avila, Madrid, and Granada. Each city has played an instrumental role in my life.
In addition to Paintwrite, I recently founded The Arab Art & Design Experience project (TADE) and the Data Art Project (DAP). Check them out, their mission and purpose.