Students of Jeddah’s all-women Dar Al-Hekma University collaborated with the Saudi Embassy in Washington, USA, to curate an art exhibition comprising their unique artworks. The occasion provided the perfect opportunity for these young women to highlight their creativity, as well as the proud heritage and the changing face of contemporary Saudi Arabia.
As reported by Saudi Gazette, the exhibition took Saudi civilization as a starting point, offering “visitors an opportunity to explore modern life in the desert Kingdom. A series of activities and events organized by various departments of the university conveyed to the world the civilized face of a country and the true image of its people, who succeeded in preserving their heritage in accurate details.”
Dima Alhamrani, a cartoonist, explained in the article that her work centers on reviving memories of ancient Saudi civilization and merging them with current developments in the Kingdom. The result is striking paintings that showcase “the amalgamation of heritage with modernity.”
"As a Saudi woman today, and under the new vision, I am more confident of myself, and my ambitions are not limited by anything. The opportunity to present our works of art in a capital city as important as Washington is a very big one. We are honored and the sky is the limit to our ambitions," said Alhamrani.
Other students like Bashayer Al-Khayyat, a graphic design graduate, created an app to help Saudi women on their journey towards healthier living, and Lama Al-Beloui, a fashion design graduate, showcased her paintings, explaining that art has been a true passion of hers ever since childhood.
“I love drawing so much, and my contribution to the exhibition was through portraits of important figures who symbolized the Bedouin life with its simplicity, determination, resilience, ruthlessness and hope […] The message I wanted to convey was the aspects of Bedouin life that Western societies might not be aware of: their loyalty to literature, art and culture and the inspiration they drew from them even when they did not know how to read the Arabic letters,” she said.