December 23rd, 2010
Tumelo (5) and Nthoto (7) Molefi from Rothe, taking pictures on their disposable cameras. They love their new Habitat home as it is now big enough for the whole family of six.
Ithabeleng Ratsolo (11), lives in the Maseru East Foster Home built by Habitat in 2008. This is one of the pictures taken by Ithabeleng of what makes her happy in her home.
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA, 23 December 2010. – On April the 21st Dubai’s newest hot spot for artists and art lovers will open its doors with an exhibition that showcases the meaning of happiness through the eyes of children in Africa. The gallery has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and a portion of all the proceeds from sales from the opening exhibition, in addition to total proceeds from select auction pieces, will be donated to Habitat for Humanity in Lesotho in aid of their Orphans and Vulnerable Children program.
This exhibition will include artworks created exclusively for this event by a select group of emerging Arab artists, inspired by photographs taken by the children that have been beneficiaries of Habitat for Humanity Lesotho’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children program. Proceeds of about $20 000 is expected.
The Ara Gallery sees art as a force that influences and enriches everyone’s lives and stimulates moods and minds.
“Art is a unique and personal form of expression and we want to help emerging Arab talent create a place for themselves in the art market. We also feel the responsibility to reach out and help others, not just artists, and that is why we are incorporating humanitarianism into our opening exhibition and overall strategy,” says Ms Moza Mohamed Al Abbar, founder of The Ara Gallery.
Ms Al Abbar, daughter of H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Abbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties PJSC, comes from the esteemed Al Abbar family of the Emirate of Dubai. The Ara Gallery is a division of Symphony Style LLC, co-founded by Ms Moza Al Abbar’s sister Ms Salama Al Abbar, brother Mr Rashid Al Abbar, and Ms Moza Al Abbar.
Ms Al Abbar believes Habitat for Humanity will be an excellent fit for the main non-profit partner for the opening exhibition, for which the gallery is also partnering with Kodak to supply and develop the disposable cameras that will be used by the children to capture their impressions of happiness.
“Habitat for Humanity has been working hard around the globe to provide low-income families with affordable, safe housing and it is undeniable that their efforts have aided millions of people. The Ara Gallery is proud to partner with this incredibly inspiring organization,” she says.
The disposable cameras were used by the children to take pictures of what they feel brings happiness to their everyday life. The photographs will then be incorporated into the original artwork by the emerging Arab artists. The original photograph will be on display next to the final artwork, while a documentary of the process in which the photographs were taken will also be screened during the opening exhibition – constituting a holistic exhibition on the meaning of happiness through the eyes of both artists and children from different parts of the globe.
Habitat for Humanity Lesotho has been in operation since 2001 and started its Orphans and Vulnerable Children program in 2005. In July 2010 the three year Secure Tenure and Safe Space for Lesotho Widows, Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project, one of the projects under the Orphans and Vulnerable Children program, was successfully concluded and resulted in the training of 60 paralegals who effectively reached 62,448 people with inheritance and secure tenure training. As part of this project Habitat for Humanity Lesotho provided technical assistance and financial support to create 250 safe and secure living spaces for vulnerable children and widows.
In the African kingdom of Lesotho, there are approximately 221,000 orphaned and vulnerable children – the majority of which are orphaned as a result of the HIV/Aids epidemic. In this country and also others in the Africa and Middle East region, Habitat for Humanity partners with other community-based organisations to provide fully subsidized shelter to vulnerable orphans.
“We are very excited about this venture with The Ara Gallery and believe that it could be the start of a partnership that will impact on the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Africa, but also bring understanding through art to the UAE about the work we do and the impact a donation can make in the life of a child,” says Greg Foster, Area Vice President of Habitat for Humanity’s Africa and the Middle East Area Office.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a non-governmental organization that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org .
About The Ara Gallery
The Ara Gallery is a concept gallery that will open in Downtown Burj Khalifa, Dubai in early 2011. The Ara Gallery’s exhibitions will focus on showcasing the emerging Arab talents from around the region, while providing inspiration and motivation to young and aspiring artists. The Ara Gallery believes that nothing can better create a dynamic group of artists than an equally dynamic and well-rounded concept. While the gallery space will be available to showcase the region’s rising talents, it will serve to further inform and motivate through art-related dialogue - interviews, workshops, talks, and any form of constructive interaction between artists and art lovers. For more information visit thearagallery.blogspot.com .