Look: Student adorns home with 1,000 hand-painted, calligraphic portraits of UAE rulers

The paintings are Fathima Beevi's way of thanking the leaders for their unflinching love and care


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 4:58 PM

A Grade 12 Indian student from Abu Dhabi is celebrating the Year of the 50th by paying tribute to UAE's leaders in a significant way.

Fathima Beevi has adorned the walls in her home with 1,000 calligraphy portraits of the UAE's beloved rulers.

Among those featured in the portraits include the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince.

A student of Shining Star International School Abu Dhabi, Fathima has liked art since she was a child and her passion further developed after visiting a calligraphy exhibition.

“When I was in Grade 3 and 4, I used to draw and paint, especially landscapes of Abu Dhabi. When I was in Grade 8, our school took us on an education tour to an Arabic calligraphy exhibition," she said. "There, some artists taught us the basics of calligraphy. I found it very alluring. I started doing calligraphy with English alphabets and later moved to Arabic letters.”

In the UAE’s Year of 50th, Fathima wanted to thank the leaders for their unflinching love, care and opportunities offered to the Indian community.

“I was born and raised in Abu Dhabi. The leaders have given us a great opportunity to live, study, work and enjoy life. We live in utmost peace and harmony, and with world-class facilities. So, when the UAE is celebrating its golden jubilee, I wanted to thank the leadership. And that’s when I thought the best way was to use my talent of drawing. This is my gift, my way of saying thank you.”

With remote classroom learning during the pandemic, Fathima devoted her free time to making the portraits.


“I started in May, during the month of Ramadan, and have just completed 1,000 portraits ahead of the National Day. I have made 600 portraits of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed and 100 drawings of each of the other four leaders. This is the result of my passionate work done in the past seven months.”

Fathima is now hoping that she will be able to present the work to the leaders.

“I hope the rulers can see this work of a schoolgirl thanking them,” she added.

Fathima’s father Abdul Rahman Cheku runs a baqala shop and mother Zuhara is a homemaker. She has five siblings: Imthiyas, Irfan, Ihthisham, Farhan and Aisha Rida.

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