( Alessandra Giorda) Among the important cultural events taking place in the United Arab Emirates is the recently concluded ART EXHIBITION, at the Antique Museum, successfully inaugurated by the Director of Cultural Events in UAE, Mr Yasser Al Gargawi, where many artists have performed their work. Among the many masterpieces exhibited, Mrs. Rafah Abdulrazzak's are an expression of undisputed talent where passion and feeling triumphs. A set of decisive and contrasting colors harmonize perfectly capturing the eyes of those who admire her paintings. Each painting tells story, emotions, a slice of life between joy and sorrow, amazement and melancholy. Mrs. Abdulrazzak is a woman of great sensitivity, besides the tangible qualities of a painter, who paints jovial themes such as sea waves, horses and themes as strong and deep as the suffering of children, the drama of the war experienced by mothers who, in see blood and terror, try to protect their babies. Rafah was born in Syria and graduated in English Literature at the University of Damascus. Happily married and mother, she has always cultivated painting hobbies and step by step from self-taught she has become an important artist reaching the dream of having an exhibition where she exhibits her paintings. With Rafah's sweetness and sympathy, in the interview to be followed, there is talk of emotions and dreams between public and private, between reality and anticipation. In fact, in February 2018, the INTERNATIONAL WATERCOLOUR FESTIVAL will be held in Dubai. There are so many requests by participants from the globe that the date, for membership, has been extended.

When did you paint the first picture?
I started my first painting in 2009. I was at the beach watching the sunset and remembered that I haven't held a brush for long time. That was my beginning, as I didn't study art but it's always been my hobby.

Where do you get inspiration for your paintings?

The environment around me constantly inspires me, so I draw nature scenes such as waterfalls, waves in the sea and colorful flowers. I also like to draw peacocks, horses and tigers. One topic that made a big impact in my paintings is childhood suffering. l paint underprivileged children from different countries to remind people that there are still children suffering everyday around the world. I also enjoy drawing famous heritage sites in my country Syria, that bring back beautiful memories

What it means to paint for you?
Painting is my passion. I use colors to express myself, when I hold my brush I forgot everything and I get transported to another world full of dreams. But I still portray how I am really feeling onto the canvas.

What is your favorite painting?

I love all my paintings. Each one means a lot to me. But I do have a favorite technique that I use, which is palette knife painting. Knife painting is when you put thick layers of random colors to create a textured, three-dimensioned effect that you want to reflect onto the canvas.

What emotions did you feel at event " ART EXIBITION" ?
This event was my first solo exhibition where I exhibited all my paintings that I worked on since the beginning. It has always been my dream to have a solo exhibition and I did it! With the help and support of my husband ,my friend Mrs Mrinmay Sebastian the gallery manager at Cartoon Art Gallery, my talented daughter who organized the event for me and the love and support of my family and friends.

The leitmotiv of this prestigoius event is: " Art is Life, Life is Art". What do you think about it?

Actually this event was wonderful. It is something different to see, where antiques and paintings were both showcased in the same place.
Art to every artist is like breathing. It is a huge part of our life. For me art means everything without it my life has no meaning. When I am happy or sad I like to hold my brushes and paint to express myself. Art is the motive to spread love and peace in the whole world.

What do you think about Mr Yasser Al Gargawi, Director of Cultural Events, UAE?

Mr Yasser Al Gargawi is a very important figure in the cultural field in the UAE. He always makes time to help and support emerging artists in the country. He is very well educated about art, he discusses and conversed with the artist on every single artwork to learn from them as well as share his knowledge with them.

This painting is wonderful ! The eyes of woman are so expressive and strike at the heart. It is characterized by bold and harmonius colors. How do you describe it ?

This painting is one of my favorite paintings. I drew it when blood shed and war were everywhere in the world. This painting is a combination of love and fear. I am a mother and I know how a mother feels when she tries her best to shield and protect her baby from the danger during the war. I paint it, I feel it, so it comes from my heart.

On February 2018 an other important event :INTERNATIONAL WATERCOLOR FESTIVAL UAE. A preview?

It is the first ever International Watercolor Festival in the UAE. It is a call for watercolor artists all around the globe to come to Dubai and highlight art of the UAE and let it to be a stage for World art. It is also a call for world masters and young artists to promote their art and to express themselves. The International Watercolor Society (IWS) association has branches in almost 90 countries and was inaugurated by Atanur Dogan President of IWS global in 2015. Mrs. Mrinmay C. Sebastian was appointed Country head for IWS in the UAE. She is the gallery manager of Cartoon Art Gallery in Dubai. I am excited to participate in this event to help Mrs. Mrinmay, as a volunteer.

Who is Rafah Abdulrazzak when she does no paint?
I am a Syrian artist who lives in Dubai, I graduated from the University of Damascus and got a bachelors degree in English Literature. When I'm not painting I am either at home taking care of my family or I am out socializing with friends and fellow artists. I manage to keep a balance between my duties and my art, so I get to enjoy the best of both worlds.