Art, throughout history, had a definite positive and firm role in
providing touches of love and understanding, and in bridging the gap between
cultural differences, individuals and nations.
In 1956 I was then a high school student in Deirut, a village in the
middle of Egypt... At that time wandered around with my friends, carrying a
small wooden ladder on my back, printing adverts on the city walls, using
stencils, to denounce and reject the assault that Britain was leading against Egypt….
In the early 60s, in the midst of heavy political negotiations between Egypt and Britain, I attended an important exhibition for the great British sculptor "Henry
Moore", on the banks of the Nile in the Andalus Garden in Cairo… This exhibition, the timing, confirmed to me the fact, that art was able to extend
friendship and peaceful bridges between nations, and turning over new pages in
In 1964, I visited London for the first time, as an invitee from the British
Cultural Council to artists who had won the coveted "1st Prize
for Upcoming Artists", that was organized by the Fine Arts Lovers Society.
This first encounter between London and I, I felt that all human beings,
regardless of geography, differing cultures or creeds are ultimately
inhabitants of the same planet, joined together by many different traits. There,
I felt more and more that art being itself an emotional and spiritual deed is
more powerful than the sciences, to join humans and win their hearts.
In November 2006, 50 years after the Suez war had ended, I was invited
to join a positive activity with the British Egyptian Friends Society, to
cement positive relations between Britain and Egypt, and there and then, I
decided to paint London… I decided to record my feelings towards it… and I believe
London itself decided at the same time to show me her attraction and speak to
me about her strengths… and here I let my frame of mind play its leading role
in dealing with her… with humans… with history… with architecture… with London’s powerful soul as I feel her.