Rare art exhibition offers young Yemeni artists opportunity to showcase talents, call for peace

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In an art exhibition recently held in Sanaa, young Yemeni artists got a rare chance to showcase their talents, heal the wounds of the Yemenis' souls, and make an emotional call for peace amid a protracted civil war.

The exhibition, named Glory of the Country, brought together more than 200 young artists across Yemen, who displayed on the canvas their artistic creativity and their love for their long-suffering motherland.

"We have invited around 220 artists, both male and female, from all provinces of Yemen to participate in the exhibition, " said Majed Hamdani, one of the exhibition organizers.

"The exhibition focuses on three themes. The first is to unveil the suffering of the Yemeni people during the war; the second theme is showcasing Yemeni heritage, tradition and beautiful landscapes; the third is expressing our support for the Palestinians and their cause," added Hamdani.

He said that the exhibition is also an opportunity to provide financial help to the artists, who also fell victims to the country's protracted civil war and economic woes, because it offered them more opportunities to sell their works.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally recognized government out of the capital Sanaa. The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the poorest Arab country to the brink of starvation.

Mohamed Bashiq, a participant in the exhibition, said the war affected almost everyone in the country and fewer people are willing to spend money on arts when they can barely afford food or other life necessities.

He added that the exhibition helped him to get acquainted with several potential buyers.

Bashiq also believed that the harsh life in the war-ravaged country is a source of inspiration for his artistic creation.

"The civil war has created great obstacles in our life. But it also gives an artist's work meaning and significance. Art created from the daily ordeal is priceless," said Bashiq.

The exhibition is also a rare opportunity for ordinary Yemenis to get closer to the arts, which have become distant and unrealistic after years of toiling in abject poverty.

According to the organizers, hundreds of visitors came to see the exhibition daily.

Abdul Karim Razi, one of the visitors, told Xinhua that he felt inspired and even "healed" after seeing all the beautiful works.

He said that it was good to have an opportunity to appreciate the arts and know more about the county's young artistic talents.

"These are young artists who need support from the authorities, so they can hone their skills and continue their work," he said. 

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