Dubai-based painter honours UAE martyrs
Tribute to the brave soldiers.
Dubai - "When I heard that 45 soldiers were killed and there was a mourning period, I thought that I must show my respect for them."
A prolific Dubai-based Indian artist has begun a series of paintings honouring the sacrifice of the UAE's martyrs in Yemen.
Professional illustrator Akbar Saheb, 50, originally from Udupi in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka, is perhaps best known locally for his series of 4.5 feet by 6 feet portraits of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of which he personally gifted to the PM during his August visit.
Now, however, Saheb has shifted his focus to the sacrifices of Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen. His latest work entitled "A Tribute to the Brave Soldiers" depicts the helmet of a fallen soldier atop a rifle, next to a UAE flag in a landscape scarred by war.
"When I heard that 45 soldiers were killed and there was a mourning period, I thought that I must show my respect for them," he said. "At first I wanted to paint each of the 45 faces, but I have so far been unable to find enough information about each of them."
Saheb, who has lived in the UAE for 21 years, said that he feels as though this country is now home, and was personally moved by the losses inflicted on the country's forces in Yemen.
"I came here alone so many years ago. Now my family is here. My children have grown up here," he said. "The UAE is my home. Whatever I do here, I do it for this country."
Looking towards the future, Saheb said he would continue to create art inspired by the UAE.
"I've already done 38 paintings of Shaikh Zayed. For 2020 I have done a 10 feet by 6 feet gigantic painting of Shaikh Mohammed," he said. "The UAE is doing good things, and I will continue to paint them. Most definitely."