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NYC Mayor Praises ‘Power Of Young People’ At Yemeni Art Exhibition

Brushstrokes of Yemeni Resilience

Yemen is a country rich in art, and New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, was able to experience it firsthand as he was among several distinguished guests who enjoyed a moving exhibition showcasing talented young Yemeni artists, which we proudly co-sponsored. 

Called “Do You See Me?”, the exhibition was held at Brooklyn Children’s Museum on Monday, July 17 and featured personal, and often emotive, work from Yemeni artists aged between seven and 19.

The exhibition, which showcased 60 pieces of artwork, explored the experiences the young Yemeni artists face as they grow up as witnesses to war. The art captured different themes, such as their daily struggles, but also their hopes and dreams.

Sahar Hasan, the show’s curator and an artist herself, said the young artists who displayed their work had “suffered the scars of war” and drew upon these personal experiences to tell their “unique stories through their art”. 

“War makes their lives miserable, and not to mention the psychological and emotional trauma that they will probably carry for the rest of their lives,” she told the audience. 

“Because I believe art is powerful, I’m trying to support and encourage these artists to embrace art and be a source of inspiration to others in their generation. I believe every child and youth has so much creativity and potential that only needs some encouragement.” 

Hope And Opportunity

Sahar then welcomed Mayor Adams to address the audience, who said that the moving images serve as a reminder of the resilience displayed by the young people of Yemen.

“What should inspire us all, even in the midst of battle, even in the midst of death and even in the midst of uncertainty, something comes through in the photos, in the pictures and in the paintings, is there is still life that exists inside these children,” he said. “As long as that life resonates through their images, it is telling us there is hope and there is opportunity.”

The Mayor added that all across the globe, it is the young people that get caught up in conflicts that are created by adults. And yet, despite this adversity, they continue to prevail. “You see hope, you see opportunity, you see forgiveness, you see the power of young people as they are showing us the way that we should all be going,” he concluded.

Building The Future Of Yemen

Also admiring the artwork was Mohammed Al-Hadhrami, the Ambassador of Yemen to the United States, who traveled from Washington DC to attend the exhibition. 

“It amazes me and reminds me of how resilient Yemenis are,” he said, before adding that throughout hardships, it’s the resilience of people that gets us through challenges. 

“I think coming here and seeing this art, reminds me that this is what gets Yemen out of it,” the Ambassador explained. 

“I really thank you Sahar for bringing us here. Thanking you for bringing us hope, and thanking you for giving us this window to look into the souls and the great minds of the youth who we all rely on for building the future of Yemen – the future that we love that I hope all of us will see in the future.” 

Awe-Inspiring Talent

The attendees had the opportunity to take the art, and a little piece of Yemen, home with them. Following on from the exhibition, all of the artwork on display was sold, with all of the proceeds going towards the young artists. We are now the proud owner of 10 pieces of beautiful art, which we can’t wait to display in our office. 

Maeen Ali, our Founder and CEO, said: “Supporting such a moving and impactful exhibition was a huge honor for everyone here at HRD, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Sahar and the young people of Yemen in the future.

“Art is an essential part of the culture of Yemen, and the awe-inspiring talent that these children and teenagers have displayed shows what gifts the country has to offer. 

 “Events such as this are important because they demonstrate to the rest of the world that the young people of Yemen aren’t defined by conflict, but rather they have their own hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and are determined to build a better future for themselves and their country. These inspirational young artists have already experienced enough heartbreak to last a lifetime, but art offers a gateway to process their emotions. The exhibition was appropriately called ‘Do You See Me?’, and now everyone can see just how resilient the young people of Yemen are.”

Alongside us, other co-sponsors of the exhibition included Brooklyn Arts Council, the Yemeni American Merchants Association, Blick Art Materials, Brooklyn Public Library, Arab America Foundation, Yemeni House, and Jerry’s Artarama.

More information about Sahar and her art can be found here – https://saharhasanart.com/ 

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