“This city has changed my perspective and has been an inspiration for my art. I would like to thank all who supported me and gave me the chance to spread love, peace, and culture through art,” says Iraqi artist, Majed Al Abedi, as he opens his third exhibition at the UNHCR-supported ASAM Centre in Istanbul.
An artist for over 35 years, Majed is not only a creative painter but a deep thinker and an academic. He currently holds two bachelor’s degrees; one in English Literature, the other in Translation and is completing his postgraduate in English Literature here in Turkey. Eager to learn the local language, Majed visited UNHCR-supported ASAM centre for Turkish Language Classes where he stumbled upon other services offered at the centre, including art and design courses.
As he started spending more time at the centre taking both Turkish language and design classes, the mobilization team of the centre discovered more about him, his story and artistic skills. Once ‘discovered’, Majed was granted the opportunity to exhibit his art with his own exhibition.
But for Majed, the aim of exhibiting his art is not to become famous, but rather his art has a deeper meaning: ‘I want my silent paintings to speak out about the experience faced by all who had to leave their home and I hope to spread my message of hope through these exhibitions”.
He also praises the support he has received from the people of Turkey as well as in the centre and the university he attends. He also credits the city of Istanbul as an inspiration for his art, “my presence in the Capital of Culture, has motivated me tremendously”, he tells us fondly.
Majed believes that his academic work and artistic nature, rather than a battle against one another, work together in harmony, complementing one another as they are both a ‘form’ of art.
For Majed the creative journey is never-ending. Now, having completed three exhibitions, he says, “Each exhibition encourages me to paint even more creative pieces, as you will see in my next exhibition”.