Weekly Love – 2

Weekly LoveListening to “Spring Prayer” by Ayşegül Yeşilnil


– “I Hate People!” by Jonathan Littman & Marc Hershon. If you’ve always wondered if you were a ‘people hater’ or not, then this book is for you. Heck, most soloists don’t need a book to tell them that they’re ‘people haters’, but this book will help you “get what you want out of your job”, and master the art of “solocrafting.”

– Paul Arden’s “Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite”, “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be”, and “God Explained in a Taxi Ride.” If  your creative friend’s birthday is coming up and you don’t know what to get them, these books would make a GREAT gift! I got the 1st book as a birthday present, and I HAD to get the other ones. I’ve finished reading them all, but these are books I will definitely be reading again and again and again.

“My Name is Charles Saatchi, and I am an Artoholic”. The title says it all!

“تاكسي- حواديت المشاوير” (Taxi) by Khaled Al-Khamisi, “a collection of transcribed conversations with Cairo cab drivers.” It’s not available online unfortunately, but it’s a really good read. It’s pretty interesting to read what regular people have to say about society, religion, and politics. Aren’t we all just sick of reading books by college professors that use words we can’t even understand?

“The Unfurling” by Nimah Nawwab. I have truly enjoyed the few pages I have read from this book. I remember I was reading the book at the airport, waiting to board the plane to Egypt. It has reminded me of the power of the word, and of the fact that I should really start sharing my thoughts and muses again. I am in no hurry at all to finish reading it. As a matter of fact, I know it’s one of these books you’re just never done reading.

Getting inspired by

LOST AT E MINOR “an online publication of inspiring art, design, music, photography and pop culture.”

Click to go to website

and Pollinate Chain Reaction, which will inspire you ’til your brain explodes.


TRANSITION, Edge of Arabia exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey, featuring contemporary art from Saudi Arabia

Photo is © Edge of Arabia

The 3 photographs in the background are by the super inspirational Manal Al Dowayan. The photograph below is a piece by her from the series “The Choice”. It has also stuck to my mind and given me ideas I’ve never had before.

Photo is © Manal Al Dowayan

The young man on the left is the one and only Yousef Alshaikh. His piece, “Processed by Hierarchy” is exhibited. He submitted a revised version of it which I hope he’ll be posting on his blog soon.

What’s really interesting is that in 2007, I actually met the second artist on the right; Mr. Ayman Yossri. His work was exhibited at Jeddah Atelier for Fine Arts. I still remember his interesting paintings as if the exhibition were yesterday.

Picture I took of Mr Yossri's painting (2007)

I’ve also met the artist sitting on the floor- Mr. Saddiek Wasill– about two years ago. He had his sculptures exhibited in Roshan Mall, Jeddah.

I’ve met 3 out of the 7 people in the photo. Small world, isn’t it? All I know is that I HAVE TO attend the next exhibition! May God send a ‘money plant’ to my room…

I must also mention two amazing artists who are not in the photograph.

1) Abdulnasser Gharem, a Major in the Saudi Arabian army and conceptual artist. I honestly cannot find the right words to describe his work. I just know that he is one of my favorite artists, and I’m truly fascinated by his concepts and technique. His concrete block is an example of how an everyday object can be used to portray very strong concepts. Many of his pieces were exhibited at “Transition”. One of them was a very powerful installation- “How to Catch a Pigeon.” I am jealous of every single person who got to see this installation.

Thank you Mr. Gharem for letting A Love Affair use the photo

2) Ahmed Mater, a medical doctor, is the first Saudi artist to have his work bought by the British Museum. It’s always interesting to see how a person’s career affects their artistic style. Mater’s work is proof of  the fact that exposure to different fields makes one’s artwork very unique. “Yellow Cow” is a very exciting project by Mater. Any Muslim would immediately relate to the yellow cow. Very mind boggling indeed. I strongly advise you to take the time to read the response by Aarnout Helb, curator of Greenbox Museum in Amsterdam. Very inspirational project and a very well-written response.  In a nutshell, Ahmed Mater is one of very few artists that know how to ‘keep it fresh.’ From x-rays to yellow cows… Who would’ve thought?

Photo is © Ahmed Mater


Cairo *sigh*


I make it a rule to let artists and writers know that I’m most willing to give constructive criticism. It’s the teacher in me that always seeks to nurture these young talents.

Jalila N. Harith is a graphic design student with a great passion for photography. I really loved her latest narrative series, “Paranoia”.

"Those with paranoid schizophrenia start to only eat food directly out of a can so they could be sure it wasn't poisoned."

"those with paranoid schizophrenia are often intellectually disorganized and confused."

One of the many things I admire about her is her willingness to COLLABORATE. I love collaborating with other artists, and I am very happy I had the opportunity to work on this piece with Jalila. The collaboration was actually part of a bigger collaboration, and each artist worked on her own photographs. Jalila and I thought it would be interesting to combine our efforts into one piece. The last one is a second version after a slight revision by Yousef Alshaikh.

Original by Jalila

This image is © Jalila N. Harith and Soraya Darwish

This image is © Jalila N. Harith and Soraya Darwish

More collaborations with other artists coming soon!

About Soraya

Lazy artist that can write and take pictures. Initiator of Casual Art Talk (2011), Founder of Onqoud (2012) Embracing art and culture!
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3 Responses to Weekly Love – 2

  1. I love your blog and commentary which goes along with it! way to go Surayya! you make me proud! 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2010 in review | A Love Affair with Art and Design

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