CBC reports that a new generation of Muslims “are expressing themselves while honoring their religion in many different ways, including everything from traditional Islamic patterns and geometric art to performance poetry, writing and video installations. While some of the art reflects beliefs, culture and traditions, other forms offer a much more modern take on Muslim life in Canada.”
Uma Samari is a writer and poet, and says getting the chance to showcase her work at the latest Muslim Art Movement event, coordinated by the Western Muslim Initiative, has changed her life. “Islam is rich in art but sometimes people don’t associate Islam with art. My artistry is as much a part of me as my religion, the blend of art and religion is very natural.”
Many young Muslim artists are embracing their dreams of a career in the arts, often breaking with family traditions and expectations. Nada Khatib has been painting for ten years and says growing up, she never saw this as a possible career. “I come from an Arab background and growing up it’s your typical lawyer, doctor, engineer and people might make comments that are belittling or not something real but the proof is in the pudding…I love to reach out to younger people and let them know this is something you can do. The arts are so important.”
The next Western Muslim Initiative art event is a Make & Mingle paint night is on Nov. 29 in South Calgary.