Interview with Omar Al-Rashid Can you tell us about your early days growing up in Muharraq, what it was like back then, and what motivated and developed your passion for art? Muharraq is a very unique characteristic city, it has narrow roads, houses are close to each other, and it has very friendly people. This place is rich in traditions and heritage in everything they do. Having the chance to actually live these moments during my childhood gave me a lot of inspiration for art. Also, the kindness of Muharraq people, and the very close relationship between each other, and the neighbours who were just like family. It made us grow with love and this gave a lot of positive reflection in my paintings and the topics that I choose to draw each time. All the nice occasions, which were celebrated in those old days, have carried a lot of wonderful memories in my mind, such as all the nice colours that our loved ones used to wear. Since I was in primary school, I would sketch and paint any chance I got, and when I was 15 years old my teachers discovered my talent and passion for art, especially colouring. The oil colour was my starting point at that time and this was very much appreciated by the academic teaches, who advised me to study art as a major.
You have said your fascination in depicting the abayah and female figure comes from your mother. In what ways did she inspire you, and what were her thoughts on your art? The abayah in Bahrain, and fashion that they use in the Arabian Gulf in general, is very colourful. My mother was close to me and I used to watch how she would wear her fancy colourful dresses and then cover it with a nice scarf on her head. The movement of the ladies in the neighbourhood, wearing the colourful dresses through the narrow roads in Muharraq is still
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