Khaleej Times

Egyp­tian artist’s spe­cial trib­ute to Sheikh Zayed

- Ash­wani Ku­mar

abu dhabi — Diaa Al­lam is an Egyp­tian artist with the UAE in his heart. To com­mem­o­rate the 100th birth­day of the Found­ing Fa­ther, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sul­tan Al Nahyan, the artist did a unique cal­lig­ra­phy work by mak­ing the por­trait of the vi­sion­ary leader with Ara­bic let­ters.

“This cal­lig­ra­phy work is my trib­ute to the late Sheikh Zayed. I have also writ­ten quotes said by Sheikh Zayed about the youth be­ing the hope of the fu­ture,” he told Khaleej Times dur­ing an event held by Emirates Foun­da­tion and Pep­siCo in Abu Dhabi on Sun­day.

The Fu­jairah-born and Aj­man-set­tled artist prefers be­ing a free bird. The 36-year-old con­tem­po­rary Ara­bic cal­lig­ra­phy artist quit his se­cure job as ur­ban plan­ner with Aj­man Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to con­cen­trate more on the art form and spread it glob­ally.

“I re­signed last year to ded­i­cate my full at­ten­tion to this art. It’s been a year since I took that big step. I have no re­grets as I love my cal­lig­ra­phy and wanted to fo­cus more. I wanted to have the free­dom to travel and do events out­side the UAE. You can’t have this free­dom with a steady job. So, I set my­self free,” he said.

With an aim to spread the Ara­bic cal­lig­ra­phy to newer ar­eas, he did live

I re­signed last year to ded­i­cate my full at­ten­tion to this art. I have no re­grets as I love my cal­lig­ra­phy and wanted to fo­cus more.”

Diaa Al­lam, Artist

draw­ing in Lon­don. “Soon I will be hav­ing another event abroad.” Al­lam urged young­sters to ex­pe­ri­ence things in life in which they ac­tu­ally be­lieved. “Take risks if it is worth it. Take ex­pe­ri­ence and de­cide what you ac­tu­ally want to do in life,” he said. This sort of con­fi­dence re­flects the new line of thought among the youth in the coun­try.

Op­por­tu­nity for tal­ented res­i­dents

Mean­while, Emirates Foun­da­tion and Pep­siCo signed an agree­ment to carry out ini­tia­tives for em­pow­er­ment of youth in the UAE. The en­ti­ties launched ‘Art of Zayed’ com­pe­ti­tion to mark the 100th birth­day of Sheikh Zayed. The con­test en­cour­ages res­i­dents to com­mem­o­rate the ‘Year of Zayed’ through art­works, mu­sic and po­etry.

Pep­siCo pres­i­dent (Mid­dle East and North Africa) Omar Farid said the ‘Art of Zayed’ com­pe­ti­tion pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop tal­ented res­i­dents, us­ing their cre­ative ca­pa­bil­i­ties to hon­our the val­ues and achieve­ments of the late Sheikh Zayed through art­work, mu­sic, and po­etry. “We are proud to sup­port and nur­ture Emi­rati youth through sev­eral of the Emirates Foun­da­tion’s key ini­tia­tives,” Farid said.

Emirates Foun­da­tion CEO Maytha Al Habsi said part­ner­ships with the pri­vate sec­tor helps to pro­vide big­ger op­por­tu­ni­ties for Emi­ratis. As per the deal, Emi­rati youth will be of­fered op­por­tu­ni­ties in Pep­siCo, from in­tern­ships to men­tor­ing and job shad­ow­ing.

ash­wani@khaee­j­times.com

 ?? Photo by Dhes Han­du­mon ?? diaa al­lam at the dubai air­port ter­mi­nal 3 on sun­day. —
Photo by Dhes Han­du­mon diaa al­lam at the dubai air­port ter­mi­nal 3 on sun­day. —

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