Moment frozen in time: Sheikh Mohammed fulfils crying child's wish

Dubai-based artist Abeer Al Edani re-creates the emotional moment

By Purva Grover

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Photo: Dubai-based artist re-creates the emotional moment of the meeting between Sheikh Mohammed and the little girl at Expo2020
Photo: Dubai-based artist re-creates the emotional moment of the meeting between Sheikh Mohammed and the little girl at Expo2020

Published: Wed 24 Nov 2021, 1:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Nov 2021, 1:17 PM

We all saw that picture and it warmed our hearts. A seven-year-old girl made a wish and it came true.

She wished for her photograph to be taken with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed invited the little one to the Al Wasl Plaza at the ongoing Expo 2020 site, last month.

The scenes from their meeting with Sheikh Mohammed hugging the child and posing for a picture would stay with us for a long time.

No wonder, the images inspired a UAE-based artist to recreate the same on canvas. “A child's feelings are the real translation of life. First, I came across the video of the little girl when she was crying because she couldn't meet Sheikh Mohammed, then I saw the video of running and hugging him.

Painting by Abeer Al Edani
Painting by Abeer Al Edani

"At that moment, my tears shed spontaneously and I was so touched by this special moment, I loved the snapshot when Sheikh Mohammed. hugged the girl as 'his hug was like home for her',” said Abeer Al Edani, an Iraqi visual artist based out of Dubai.

Abeer holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a self-taught artist. She is inspired by the culture of her home country and works on themes such as customs, women, and happiness and suffering.


She has had the honour to exhibit her artwork as part of the celebration, SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Through Arts, nestled at the United Nations Hub at the Opportunity District, Expo 2020.

We learn more about the special painting and the future of arts in a conversation with her.

Painting by Abeer Al Edani
Painting by Abeer Al Edani

What’s the message you aspire to send via this special painting?

In this painting, I aim to reflect the feelings of each of us living in the UAE. We all experienced warmth as we saw the scenes from that lovely meeting. Sitting at our homes, we experienced what I call the ‘hug of home’. I used oil colours on canvas and focused on the features of the little girl to express her feelings, and thereby the emotions we all felt, collectively.

Where would you say your art inspirations come from?

Each artist has his/her source of inspiration, it may come from a song, poetry, music or a person. For me, my biggest inspiration lies in my beloved UAE. I am always in awe of and inspired by this land of dreams. My precious UAE has given me all the support and confidence to keep walking on a creative path.

Abeer Al Edani
Abeer Al Edani

What according to you is the future of art, especially as we’re in a midst of a pandemic?

Art allows us to examine what it means to be human, to voice and express, and to bring people and ideas together. In these times of crisis, the community needs to be guided by humanity. There are different ways to imagine the future of the arts. One of these would be a future where technology will help artists to improve their skills and work. For me, art is a global language and it's important for each of us, artists, to keep up with the evolution of technology but at the same time keep traditional forms of art alive.

In the next 50, what are the elements of the UAE that you’d like to create on canvas?

UAE never ceases to surprise us with something fresh, something outstanding that blows our mind, and more. Each element of the land inspires us to create. I look forward to discovering what lies ahead for all of us in the next 50. I was happy to re-create this image, a symbol of a fatherhood hug, just as I will be honoured to re-create elements of the historical achievements of UAE in the fields of culture, space, humanity and beyond.

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