By Sameh Guirguis
I chose the word ‘Salam’ as it indicates peace and purity in Islam. The word Salam is used in everyday greetings by Muslims saying ‘Al-Salaam-Alaikum’ meaning ‘Peace be upon you’. This greeting is used by Arabs when they come across friends or even strangers reflecting their friendly and peaceful nature towards anyone who lives among them. Moreover, the word peace is one of the ninety nine names of Allah which reciprocates the feelings of harmony. In addition to its importance in Islam, peace is a word that is significant to every religion. There is no religion that would preach hatred to the other. In fact, if this word is truly practiced it will achieve unity and love among the diverse people of the world. Furthermore, what appealed to me the most is the dire need we have for peace during the current times in our region, the Middle East. It is the time for war to come to end.
For my art work, I wrote the word ‘Salam’( peace) in Arabic calligraphy. The medium is acrylic paint. The word Salam is in white paint and the background is a mixture of dark and light blue that mixes smoothly into each other. The light blue highlights the word Salam letting the word standout in the picture. I chose the blue colour as this colour represents peace of mind. It is also the colour associated with the sky where one can look for a sign of hope and to find tranquility. The last letter in the word Salam( سلام) has been designed to represent a dove which is an age old resemblance of peace. Art is a powerful tool that can be used to influence people’s emotions. As artists, we have a responsibility to use our talents to make this world a better place. I hope that every artist would come to this realization.
The artist that influenced me was El Seed as he is one of the artists that uses the art of calligraphy in such a way to unify and bring peace to his country and the world. He makes his artwork visible as a voice for freedom of expression in art in the region. He inspires me the most by his aim in changing old buildings to a piece of art that can be visited by a lot of people to spread a certain message.
My name is Sameh Guirguis. I am a third year architecture student at the American University in Dubai pursuing an undergraduate degree. I look forward to using my knowledge of architecture to make a positive impact.