Browsing 'art' News

Khadija Dawn Carryl/Flickr

For illustrative purposes only

After losing her cousin to cancer last year, Qatar resident Nazma Mazhar wanted to find a way to help people battling the illness.

So the self-taught henna designer is now offering a free service to decorate the heads of women who have lost their hair to chemotherapy.

Mazhar has been free-hand painting intricate Indian and Arabic designs on women’s bodies for the last decade. But this was only usually to mark moments of celebration such as Eids or weddings.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, her cousin’s death inspired her to want to do more for others in pain.

“I want to help make them feel special because they are suffering from cancer,” the 23-year-old told Doha News.

She added:

“I had thought about doing this two or three years ago but hadn’t got around to it. Then one of my cousins got cancer, and she passed away last year. After that I decided to help people.”

‘Good medicine’

After moving to Qatar from Sri Lanka in March this year, the trained primary teacher set up her own business – Qatari Henna Studio – while she looks for teaching work.


Henna artist Nazma Mazhar

She recently kick-started her search for potentially interested clients on popular Facebook page When, Where & How in Doha.

Describing the process, Mazhar said the henna pattern would be gently applied to the scalp of the person who may have lost their hair as a result of chemotherapy.

This can be a traumatic time, particularly for women who often cover their heads with scarves or wigs.

Instead, Mazhar is seeking to transform the patient’s head into a thing of beauty.

Nazma Mazhar

Henna designs

“We can also do the designs on the hands, arms, feet or anywhere on the body the lady would like. Henna has cooling power, it is a good medicine,” Mazhar added.

She added that she will speak to the Qatar Cancer Society to identify women with the illness who might be interested in the initiative.

Similar projects have been undertaken in countries across the world.

The idea gained widespread appeal about a decade ago after a studio in San Francisco began applying henna to scalps to boost the confidence of cancer patients and those with alopecia (hair loss).

Raising awareness

In recent years, Qatar has launched many public awareness programs for some of its more prevalent cancers, particularly breast and bowel cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in Qatar among women, accounting for a third of all cancer cases in this demographic.

Jen Goellnitz/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, survival rates are high if the cancer is diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

The Primary Health Care Corporation’s Screen for Life campaign offers mammograms to all women aged 45-69 years, and Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health advises women to have mammograms every three years to aid early detection and treatment.

You can contact Nazma Mazhar through her Facebook or Instagram pages, call her on 7047 6495, or email her at [email protected]


Qatar Museums

Driven by Germany exhibition

Two major art exhibitions will open to the public next month to mark the Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture, Qatar Museums (QM) has announced.

The first will launch at the Al Riwaq Gallery, next to the Museum of Islamic Art.

Titled Driven by German Design, the exhibition was curated with Volkswagen. It explores how the design in Germany has changed over the past several decades, starting with the 1950s and even featuring the future.

In a statement, QM said the exhibition will touch on product and graphic design, architecture, furniture, fashion and automotive design.

Additionally, it will “highlight the influence of German design on ubiquitous objects such as iPhones, cameras and furniture.

It also traces the evolution and development of some of the most iconic cars ever to have been designed, with the Porsche 911 Turbo, Volkswagen Golf and Käfer making an appearance,” QM added.

For the purposes of the exhibition, Al Riwaq is being organized into five “Epoch Rooms” and a “Design Laboratory.”

The exhibition will be open daily from 9am to 7pm Saturday to Thursday; and from 1pm to 7pm on Fridays through Jan. 14, 2018. More information can be found here.

German Encounters

Also on Oct. 3, German Encounters – Contemporary Masterworks from the Deutsche Bank Collection will open at the Doha Fire Station.

This exhibition contains more than 100 works including photographs and paintings that offer an overview of German art from the 1960s to the present.

Qatar Museums

German Encounters Exhibition

According to QM, the collection includes works by Joseph Beuys, neo-expressionist painters such as Georg Baselitz and Markus Lüpertz; photographers of the Düsseldorf School, including Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, and Thomas Ruff; and influential post-conceptual artists such as Isa Genzken, Rosemarie Trockel and Martin Kippenberger.

German Encounters will be open daily from 8am to 11pm, Saturday to Thursday; and from 1pm to 11pm on Fridays through Jan. 20, 2018. More information can be found here.


Ghada bnt Ali

One of Ghada’s cartoons

Ghada bnt Ali never planned to become a political cartoonist. But when the Gulf dispute began in June, the 28-year-old said she had to do something.

“Qatar was being bullied, and everything that has happened with the crisis allowed me to use it (drawing) as an outlet,” said the Qatari woman.

By day, Ghada works for Qatar Museums in acquisitions. But she also wants to put her graphic design degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar to good use.

A lifelong lover of art, her leap into political cartoons only began a few months ago.

Her first cartoon, shared on Instagram and Twitter on June 11, was a peace sign, designed to look like a Q in Qatar colors.

Bnt Ali then produced a few more cartoons, and her work suddenly became, as she puts it, “a thing.”

I only did this to find a different outlet, I didn’t expect it to explode per se. But the more I did, the more I got interaction and reactions from people. I posted consecutively for about four days, and after that people said they were waiting for a new one.”

Reactions on social media

As her work began to be shared more widely, she received requests for copies of her cartoons so that people could use them as decorations for their cars, or to hang on the wall at home.

One particular design, about Turkey’s support of Qatar during the crisis, was shared by the country’s official news agency.

The design simply says “the leader” in Arabic, and the crescent on the Turkish flag is used to create the word.

“I got lots of messages from Turkish people after that,” she said.

Big ambitions

Ghada bnt Ali said she is inspired by street artists like Banksy, and that she has always wanted to use her design talents to “talk about social issues in a comical way.”

Ghada bnt Ali

One of Ghada’s cartoons

And although she’s just starting out, the cartoonist has big ambitions.

Friends have suggested she try to get a regular spot in one of Qatar’s papers, while others urge her to reach a more global audience.

“I really want to get my work out there in the global arena. You don’t see a lot of people from the Middle East showcasing their point of view like that.”

You can follow Ghada bnt Ali on Instagram and Twitter.