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Story | Community
29 July 2021

QF alumni use digital art as a tool to raise awareness of Palestinian crisis

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One of Jaber Henzab’s artworks on the Palestinian struggle

Graduates stand in solidarity with Palestine using their social media platforms to reach local and international audiences

People all over the world are coming together in the digital sphere to raise awareness of the Palestinian crisis by sharing historical, cultural, and political truths on the occupation. And three Qatar Foundation artists have joined the global outcry by expressing their solidarity through art.

I drew the girl hugging Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, representing Qatar and other countries’ support and compassion towards the people of Palestine

Jaber Henzab

Jaber Henzab, a Texas A&M University at Qatar alumnus, draws unique sketches over photos of Qatar. Henzab feels that it is his duty as an artist to raise awareness of the conflict by using his Instagram account as a platform – as he believes we can no longer depend on traditional media sources.

“I have two works on Palestine. One of which I came across a photo of a young Palestinian girl hugging a baby doll by her family’s home in Gaza, which had been destroyed. I was deeply affected as the father of a daughter of a similar age to the girl in the photo. So I drew the girl hugging Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, representing Qatar and other countries’ support and compassion towards the people of Palestine.

Bothayna Al Zaman’s artwork.

“The second artwork I created while watching the news about Gaza on Al Jazeera’s Instagram account was an image of smoke coming out of an explosion – and I saw a girl there. The message being that there are children in these buildings who are killed every day, and they are like our children.”

Henzab’s work can be found at @henzab.art.

Graphic designer Bothayna Al Zaman is a Northwestern University in Qatar alumnus who sells her own brand of stickers and t-shirts at the National Museum of Qatar. Al Zaman was among many designers and illustrators who participated in the #ArtForPalestine social media campaign.

This is my first time reacting to a political issue through my art. Sometimes you feel like you are hopeless, and you want to do something about it

Bothayna Al Zaman

“This is my first time reacting to a political issue through my art. Sometimes you feel like you are hopeless, and you want to do something about it. I wanted to help, so I did what I am good at,” she said.

She used her unique style to capture the Palestinian culture, the people, and the heritage. Al Zaman’s artwork gained interest and engagement from people outside of Qatar.

“A girl from South Africa and a French account reposted my work, as well as a few Americans. I did not talk to them, but I hope that it moved them or encouraged them to learn more about the issue. And this was the main purpose behind it, for me was to raise awareness about what is happening.”

Al Zaman’s Instagram page is @bothaynaa.

Hazem Asif is a Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar alumnus who studied graphic design. He began a series on Instagram called “Artists for Resistance,” which brings together local and international artists, designers, and changemakers to tell unconventional stories of resistance and social change through their creative practice.

I aim to highlight and archive the creative narratives of local and international artists and designers despite their gender, ethnicity, or culture

Hazem Asif

“I aim to highlight and archive the creative narratives of local and international artists and designers despite their gender, ethnicity, or culture,” Asif explained. “With my work, I brought attention to social and political movements happening in Sudan, Kashmir, Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and currently the apartheid in Palestine.”

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Hazem Asif’s artwork.

Asif has recently used his platform to spotlight artists who use their art as an act of resistance in Palestine. His work can be found at @worldofhazem.

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