Code of Patriotism

Suhail AlHammady

“When one is caught in an ordeal, he must seek the company of a smile”. In the midst of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the history of the world, local individuals try to make mark to help release some of the pain of both the body and spirit of the country. On a daily basis, multiple initiatives, contributions, efforts and activities are taking place in order to bring people together and to focus attention on a more positive outlook on life in a time full of misery and doubt.

A Smile in the Time of War” was one recent event that represented a shift from the horrors of reality and suffering into an atmosphere of happiness and joy. The exhibition was a passion project by talented, local young artists who created their art in a workshop. Under the guidance and supervision of Mr. Mohammed Abduljalil Al-Hashedy (the organizer of the exhibition and workshop and a talented artist himself) each of the artists contributed one portrait; the participants conveyed a call for peace – from their own perspective – through the works they created.

“In spite of the numerous setbacks and obstacles we had to deal with, we managed to discharge some of the tension and anger that was occupying us through our love of art and the optimistic expectation we have for the upcoming days” , said Mohammed. “It was a cathartic and spiritual experience that overwhelmed us with joy; the workshop had a festive vibe filled with laughter. It wasn’t only a workshop that embraced talented artists, it was more than that – it was a space of endless, everlasting peace.

The event took place in Coffee Corner and Lingo [on January 3rd 2018] who aided in setting up a gallery for the exhibition of the portraits. It was a very popular exhibition attended by a large crowd of individuals who shared a common interest in the arts.

The workshop also helped to raise awareness on the importance of women’s role in society – in fact, all the participants were female. It gave a glimpse of how women can break out of the traditional mould of a “housewife”- as outstanding painters, for example.

The size of the visiting audience was “unexpected and unprecedented” according to Mohammed. The event and workshop were given the name “A Smile in the Time of War” for the intended effect of putting a smile on the faces of the audience and to make them, more or less, “forgetful” even for a tiny fraction of time. “We actually achieved the result we sought for; everyone was smiling happily”.