Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ISIS is not Islamic!

Stereotype: ISIS is Islamic
Deconstruction: ISIS is not Islamic

I am a student currently enrolled in Architecture as a major, and my interests are mainly music and art, I research a lot about ancient history as I am really interested in our past and things that make one question life in any way possible. I’m a person who cares for change in our world in which I believe is corrupt in many ways. I believe change could happen through music and art. 

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is creating a bloodshed around the Middle East to establish an Islamic state, the violence inflicted upon the people are all made under the name of Islam. Now, according to the Barghouti website, the true meaning of the word Islam comes from “the Arabic root "Salam": peace, pureness, submission and obedience. Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.” Most people in the western world believe that the violence caused by ISIS is actually what Islam is about. I thought that this stereotype about Islam has to, one way or another deconstruct and show that ISIS is NOT Islamic. According to the Daily Beast, author Obeidallah stands up to this stereotypical fallacy about Islam. “Obama also addressed anti-Muslim bigotry, mentioning the horrible murders of three Muslim American students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, last week. And in a particularly poignant moment, the president read a Valentine’s Day card sent to him from a young Muslim girl named Sabrina, who wrote, “I enjoy being an American. But I am worried about people hating Muslims…If some Muslims do bad things, that doesn’t mean all of them do…Please tell everyone that we are good people and we’re just like everyone else.”” After reading the story about the girl, the idea of my concept came along. I wanted to somehow show that no matter what race, religion or species (hypothetically speaking) anyone could be part of such an organization. The misconception about Islam obstructs the essence of its teaching and through art and music I believe would fix this problem. I used a 210 × 297 millimeter paper (A4) and placed a man with a black scarf around his face showing only his eyes, Using Adobe Photoshop (Digitally), I blocked his eyes and printed 10 pieces, 120 x 40 millimeter paper of eyes from completely different cultures/race/species to portray my concept that anyone could be part of such an organization and that Islam does not comply to ISIS.

Art Piece (210 × 297 mm)

According to the Daily Beast, “ISIS wants us to believe its actions are based in Islam because it frames the conflict as a religious war between the West and Islam.”

Amer Badi


Works cited

"I. The Meaning of Islam." ISLAM. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.barghouti.com/islam/meaning.html>
 Obeidallah, Dean. The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.         <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/19/why-calling-isis-islamic-only-plays-into-its-hands.html>.

Still Life with a Twist

Gilda Jabbari

I am a self-portrait photographer born in 1992 in Shiraz, Iran. I have been living in Dubai for almost 20 years. Currently I am finishing my bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Photography at AUD.

As a photographer, I have begun to concentrate on Still life. Studying them in paintings through history as well as in photography. In this Photograph I have decided to capture the beauty of Persian/Islamic culinary. My main concept is to show their spirituality by creating a setup that illuminates the objects with a soft light. Portraying a silence that is peaceful through the images. I would be concentrating on the aesthetics of the photograph that will aid me to portray an important aspect in Islam, peace and spirituality. This photograph also deconstructs the stereotype that Muslims are not open to other cultures and beliefs. Because as an Iranian and a Muslim who lives in a multicultural society, I am open to and associate different ideologies in my life.

I had first become exposed to Still Life paintings through contemporary Iranian painters, Morteza Katouzian and Manouchehr Malekshahi. Then through my research I understood the development of the still life paintings.  It had mainly started in the Northern Western Europe. The Dutch painters started the Still Life genre, creating beautiful pieces. Then the Iranian artists who started traveling to Europe were influenced and inspired by them. They created the Still life paintings in the same technique as the Dutch painters though; the elements and objects used are associated with the Persian culture, for example, the “Silent Companion” of Malekshahi.

Hence, the photograph I create has a western influence; I think it is an important point. It shows how Muslims have always been open to accepting other cultural traits into their own.


 Fay Rodrigues

DIMENSIONS: 1000 X 800 pixels
TECHNIQUE: Photo manipulation & digital calligraphy inspired by the ‘Naskh’ calligraphic style
SOFTWARE: Adobe Photoshop

The concept of my artwork aggregately addresses several facets of the idea of terrorism’s persistence – right from religion fueled terrorism unto Islamophobia as a consequence.The prevalence of religion fueled terrorism in society nowadays can be attributed to the physical as well as mental propagation of delusional beliefs that have marred the true essence of religion to begin with. When the negative aspects of human nature amalgamate with religious fanaticism, the forces of repulsion between human relationships are amplified. Political ideology is also to be blamed to a serious extent because the fulcrum belief of any political ideology in general is that societal concord can be achieved via the execution of extreme acts of violence, all because of shared ideas that a group of like-minded extremists have concocted. The world is practically a ‘global village’ that is tied together by strings or webs of cooperation, dependence and interdependence
amongst states; and terrorists are significantly impinging the potential of a resilient concord. The countries that harbor these terrorists also harbor innocent people who are afraid of becoming collateral to the responsive anger from other countries that have been attacked. Disharmony between religious groups such as Christians,
Muslims and Jews is a prominent corollary. Islamophobia is a reality because most religious terrorists tend to be brainwashed Muslims who have tainted the image of Islam with their acts of violence and destroyed the lives of people not just from other religions, but also from their very own religion itself. The rest of the Muslims around the world with good hearts and non delusional religious beliefs are shadowed by the acts of these terrorists – and the parlous state of the resident countries of these terrorists is evidently becoming highly contagious.

My name is Fay Rodrigues and I am currently a senior student at the American University of Dubai, studying a BFA in Visual Communication – Majoring in Digital Media. Despite being a creative by nature, I aspire to become a Humanitarian Leader in the future because my ambition strongly stems from the will to help improve the lives of the unfortunate as best as I can.

Females’ Power of Words

Nigina Avazmuratova

Medium used: Acrylic on paper
Dimensions: 14x11.5 (inches)

Color symbolism
Yellow -  joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.
Turquoise - open communication, clarity of thought.
Green - growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility.
Purple - power, nobility, luxury, and ambition.
Red - energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, and love.
Blue - trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
Women in the Arab World are perceived to be inferior to men in terms of their intellect, communication, growth, power, determination, and confidence. The colors used in the background refer back to the qualities that women hold and that lacking those qualities is a major misconception not only in the Arab world but in the World as a whole. Hence, the purpose of this piece is to send out a message that these misinterpretations and perceptions are slowly deconstructing in Islamic cultures as women are taking up significant roles in society such as Ministers and CEO’s, apart from their major roles as mothers, daughters, and sisters.
The Arabic letters in calligraphy styles that take up a shape of a female figure refer to women in the way that they communicate their speech. In other words it refers to the power of female’s words.

Nigina Avazmuratova is an Uzbek who had been living in the United Arab Emirates for almost fourteen years of her life. Currently a Marketing student at the American University in Dubai, Nigina paints whenever she feels inspired. Taking Islamic Arts and Architecture inspired her to create a specific painting for her art project that is influenced by one artist that she has already done a study about and a new artist she was introduced to in one of the Islamic Arts classes.

The artist that she had done a workshop with is a UAE native Najat Meky and a new artist she got influenced by is El Seed, a Tunisian “calligraffiti” artist.

Below are some art pieces that Nigina painted that were influenced by Najat Meky.

The first piece piece was painted using acrylic graffiti paint that reflects the same concept as Meky’s artwork with implication of Nigina’s personal style and technique. Other than that she used a transparent paper to paint graffiti work on and then cut them into pieces and glue the pieces together to create a complete piece.
The second art piece was done during a workshop in the presence of Najat Meky using acrylic paint and a hair comb to create texture. Also, she used a thick flat brush to paint with and decorative red circles that were filled in with glitter to portray the patterns. 

The third painting was done using various media such as, acrylic paint, black ink, black felt tip, and mechanical pencil. It refers to different body shapes of females and their aspiration for perfect body. The painting compares female figure to a pear and a guitar amongst many other objects that women get compared to by be it men or other women. The purpose of the painting is to make women realize that an object can never portray one enough to show the pure beauty of women that first of all comes from inside. Some of the words in black ink are “perfect,” “beauty,” and “love,” and these words refer to women’s insecurities as well as what they seek in life such as having a career and a happy family.




Influences’ Biographies
Najat Meky
Dr. Najat Meky is an acclaimed Emarati artist who holds a Ph. D. in Metal Coins from Cairo College of Fine Arts in 2001 and is one of UAE’s pioneering contemporary artists. Meky’s work focuses on the value of society, culture and tradition, where the female figures dominate her paintings. She is also a member of numerous cultural societies and organizations, including the Emirates Fine Arts Society, the GCC Art Friends Group, Al Jidar Fine Arts Group, and Al Iyab Fine Arts Society.

El Seed
El Seed is a Tunisian French “calligraffiti” artist who uses a blend of historical art of Arabic calligraphy and the modern graffiti to produce his pieces. He mixes the Arabic and French street culture to “poetic effect.” El Seed travels around the World to paint on the walls of cities, sending out a message of peace. Here is one of his art works on the right that says “My name is Palestine.”
Below are two artworks done by El Seed and Najat Meky that served as an inspiration to Nigina’s piece.

Art Piece
The following art piece is a combination of the above works to an extent. The background is similar to El Seed’s but the concept in Nigina’s art piece refers to the color bars that are usually seen on TV. The meaning behind the color bars is a TV that serves as media and how the media refers to females in the Arab World. It also implies how the concept of beauty is interpreted by media leading women to strive for “perfection” portrayed in magazines and on TV.
Arab and Muslim women are perceived to have less power in society due to society’s misconceptions about Islam as a religion. Also, Islam is perceived to restrict women’s freedom of speech. Hence, the Arabic letters that take shape of female figure imply this. The female figure that is shaped using calligraphic letters refers to women as a focus of this art piece.