Our Mothers’ House: United Nations, New York

20 Nov 2015 - 27 Nov 2015
NEW YORK, NY 10017

On 20 November 2015, Edge of Arabia, in partnership with Art Jameel, launched Our Mothers' House, a multi-faceted initiative at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The program aimed to highlight the urgent issue of cultural heritage preservation and the empowerment of women artists in Saudi Arabia’s Southern Asir region.

The launch of this program included an art exhibition of three commissioned murals that celebrate the hundreds-year old tradition of house-painting by skilled female artisans from the village of Rijal Alma in Saudi Arabia. The installation also aimed to highlight Saudi Arabia's bid to recognize this historic village as an official UNESCO World Heritage site.

Organized in collaboration with multiple sectors of the United Nations, the launch event featured a reception and dedicated panel discussion organized by The Middle East Institute (Washington D.C) and highlighting the crucial role Asiri women artists have played in the composition and archiving of their local history. Our Mothers’ House celebrates the creativity and determination of women artists who play an extraordinary role in preserving the cultural identity of their communities.

Our Mothers’ House featured artwork by woman artisans in the Asir region located in the Southwest of Saudi Arabia, home to one of the country’s most prominent cultural and archeological sites. The artisans of Asir are an example of the endangered role of women within rural areas of contemporary Saudi society; traditionally at the forefront of recording and sharing histories, in one generation women in remote regions of Saudi Arabia have been marginalized within their communities.

Our Mothers’ House seeks to promote artistic production, as well as gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Middle East. Program advisers include three Saudi artists: Arwa Alnaemi, whose work often explores the relationship of women to larger Saudi Society; Ahmed Mater, best known for his explorations of the Islamic culture and trends of consumerism and transformation in the region; and Fatimah Jaber, an Asiri house painter and founder of Fatimah Museum in Abha, Additional support is provided by Ali Moghawi, an Asiri cultural historian and member of the Rijal Alma UNESCO World Heritage Bid.

Our Mothers’ House: Cultural Preservation and the Empowerment of Women Artists in Southern Saudi Arabia is sponsored by Art Jameel, produced by Edge of Arabia and supported by The Middle East Institute in Washington DC.

Mural Artists

Salehah Yahya Alalmaiy
صالحه يحيى العلمي
Salehah Abdulzeaz Alraqde
صالحة عبدالعزيز الرقدي
Jamelah Ali Alsoghayer
جميلة علي الصغير
Arwa Mohammed Alzehr
أروى محمد الزهر
Halimah Moshabab Assiry
حليمة مشبب العسيري
Fawzeiyah Mohammed Barzyq
فوزية محمد بارزيق
Sharifah Mohammed Mahdi
شريفة محمد مهدي
Nawarah Abdolrahman Moghawi
نوارة عبـد الرحمن مغاوي
Ohud Ebraheam Moghawi
عهود إبراهيم مغاوي
Fatemah Faya Yaqub
فاطمة فايع يعقوب
Zohrah Faya Yaqub
زهرة فايع يعقوب
Safia Ahmed
صفية أحمد
Amira Al–Almai
أميرة العلمي
Nala Ali
ناال علي
Salha Mohammed Al–Qahtani
صالحة محمد القحطاني
Zaina Al–Shahrani
زينة الشهراني
Sharifa Ayed
شريفـة عايض
Fatimah Hassan
ّ فاطمة حسان
Jameelah Mater
جميلة ماطر
Jewaher Mater
جواهر ماطر
Reem Mater
ريم ماطر
Fatima Yahya
فاطمة يحيى

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