Art was always my calling: Emirati poet
Nujoom al Ghanem, Emirati film maker during the workshop at Dubai International Writers Center, Shindhaga Dubai on Tuesday. 01 March,2016.
Dubai - 'Though very supportive of her dream to pursue a career in arts, her father was hesitant to send his young daughter abroad to study, alone.'
Published: Wed 2 Mar 2016, 7:11 PM
Last updated: Thu 3 Mar 2016, 7:33 AM
"When I was a child I always wanted to be an artist."
Growing up in her grandparents house which was full of "paints, beautiful photography and film", Emirati poet, scriptwriter and multi-award-winning film director, Nujoom Al Ghanem, always knew her calling.
"I was lucky to be in that environment. My aunt was a painter and she fascinated me. I thought the whole world revolved around art," she told Khaleej Times during her workshop 'Lights, Camera, Action', on day one of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
Al Ghanem was born in Dubai in 1962. After graduating High School in her late teens, she had her sights set on one city: London.
"I wanted to go to university in London, but my father refused.
Though very supportive of her dream to pursue a career in arts, he was hesitant to send his young daughter abroad to study, alone.
"He wanted me to marry first so I ended up at university in Al Ain studying media."
But after just one semester, the creative youngster quit after feeling "trapped" by campus life.
"I felt like I couldn't breathe. I didn't like life in a dormitory. Every time I was in my dorm I thought of ways to escape."
After pursuing a career as a journalist, Al Ghanem got married and had two girls.
Juggling a successful career, marriage and motherhood, she went on to become the Head of Culture and Art Department For Dubai and Northern Emirates', but admits something was "always missing".
"I wanted to be active in the art world. With the support of my husband I decided to head to the US to study in Ohio."After graduating with a Bachelors degree in TV Production in 1996, she went on to get her Masters in Media Production from the School of Film at Griffith University in Australia.
Since then, Al Ghanem has produced eleven films including five short fiction films and six feature length documentaries, including 'Nearby Sky' which won Best Non-Fiction Film at the Eleventh Dubai International Film Festival. As a regular feature at the Emirates Lit Fest, Al Ghanem is urging people to come out and be a part of the region's "best festival" on literacy.