From Dubai to Somalia with love

From Dubai to Somalia with love
Shrutika with her painting 'Mask'

Dubai - Proceeds from sales were donated to Emirates Red Crescent to support their charity drive for Somalian families living with extreme famine and drought

By Saman Haziq

Published: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 11:04 PM

Around 23 UAE artists joined hands for a charity art exhibition here in Dubai titled 'DXB to Somaal'.
The artists, who are part of The Ajala Project, have donated their artwork to be sold at The Workshop Gallery and artwork proceeds will be donated to Emirates Red Crescent's 'For Your Sake Somalia' campaign. This exhibition, organised by Dubai-based social enterprise The Ajala Project, was held in partnership with the 'Every Dirham Counts' campaign to support the Emirates Red Crescent that is aiming to raise Dh500 million to help the Somalian people who are suffering from drought.
Sadhana, a 17-year-old artist whose painting got sold on the first night of the exhibition, has been working at a school in Ethiopia since she was 13. She built her own art centre there to teach art therapy to young children. She visits this centre every year.
"Having worked so closely in Africa for the past few years, I have seen the effects of extreme hunger up close. I believe the best way to help is to spread awareness, educate and empower and that's why I am taking part in this exhibition."
The artworks displayed included unique works ranging from mixed media, water colours, acrylics, and oils. Proceeds from the sales of each painting were donated to Emirates Red Crescent to support their charity drive for Somalia to help families living with extreme famine and drought.
Narmeen Naser, co-founder of The Ajala Project said: "The Ajala Project is a platform we created in 2016 and we currently represent over 200 local and international emerging artists, who create artwork to give back and support communities in need. The artist's creations are sold through our platform, community events and our corporate partnerships. This campaign has already received significant interest from members, with over 100 artists submitting pieces within a few days of announcing our partnership. We have shortlisted 23 unique pieces and hope we can raise donations to help those who are suffering in Somalia."
Another artist Shrutika Gosavi, whose artwork displayed at the exhibition titled 'The Mask', said: "My reason for participation in this exhibition is to help people who are really in need. A few years ago, I watched a movie based on the war in Somalia which showed its horrible impact on the people. This has been on my mind since and I have been wanting to do something to help the situation, but did not have an idea how to reach them. When I saw Ajala and Red Crescent do this initiative, I grabbed the opportunity to contribute with my painting.
Mona Gulaid, the project leader of Every Dirham Counts, said: "We are pleased that our campaign is growing and bringing people together to support the UAE's efforts on-ground. The interest and support we have received so far is testament to the fact that the people in the UAE care and are always ready to contribute and make a difference."
The three-day exhibition was held at The Workshop Gallery, opposite Boxpark in Dubai. Ghada Kunash, managing director at The Workshop Dubai, said: "We are proud to sponsor and support The AJALA Project as part of our contribution to our society celebrating the UAE Year of Giving. It is helping us connect and reach out for others even more and we are glad to support this initiative."
The paintings can also be viewed and bought from the website :

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