[QODLink]
Witness
Stolen Dreams
An Iraqi artist flees her war-torn country and seeks ways to express hope out of the hell of her homeland.
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2009 11:47 GMT

Watch part two

Filmmaker: Christine Garabedian

Hana Mal Allah has first hand experience of life during and after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. As one of the last artists to leave Baghdad, she has witnessed some of Iraq's darkest days. But through her art, Hana has sought to bring freedom of expression and life into a war-torn landscape.

"My work focuses on the image of Baghdad as a city founded on an accumulation of artifacts that bears witness to both a rich cultural and historical heritage," says Hana, "as well as systematic destruction and vandalism throughout history."

Fleeing her beloved Iraq for her own safety, Hana traveled to Paris where she continued to produce art, finally arriving in London in March 2007.

Under the watchful and motherly gaze of Maysaloun Faraj, owner of a gallery in London, Hana gets the chance to exhibit her art works along with another Iraqi artist, Rashad Selim.

Hana has only recently arrived from Iraq, and she is keen to make sure her works are properly displayed in order to communicate her life, her memories of war and how they shape her art.

Rashad is far from ready for the opening night. At work in his studio on the eve of the exhibition, Rashad likens his unpreparedness to the chaos of the situation in Iraq.

Maysaloun is an artist herself, and is used to dealing with the sensitive egos of artists. But she is under pressure to get everything ready on time – a pressure she passes on to Rashad.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
Whatever the referendum's outcome, energy created by the grassroots independence campaign has changed Scottish politics.
Traders and farmers struggle to cope as restrictions on travel prevent them from doing business and attending to crops.
Unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, helps poor pregnant women in Mumbai fight against maternal mortality.
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
join our mailing list