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It's common for youngsters to take their first job as a paperboy, delivering newspapers and pamphlets to customers in their local area before or after school, but for Natheer Mohammed Hussain, he decided to forego this option and pursue a different paper path.
The 16-year-old instead has dedicated himself to becoming a master of origami, a Japanese tradition of folding paper to make various objects.
Natheer, who studies at Al Taawon Secondary School, said: “I started making designs when I was 12. I’d seen a few sculptures on TV when I was younger, but it was when I stumbled upon an origami book that the fascination truly gripped me.
“As soon as I opened it, I couldn’t stop turning the pages and seeing all of the different designs, shapes and folds that people had made. From that moment, I was hooked. Any time I came across a piece of paper I’d quickly make something, and as I practiced they got more and more complicated.”
Natheer is so advanced at the art form that during his summer holidays he decided to set up a stall in Saar Mall and offer shoppers tips on origami and display some of his designs. He explained: “Origami makes me feel happy within myself.
The only time where I feel truly calm and relaxed is when I have a sheet of paper in my hands and I’m twisting and folding it into something beautiful.
“Eventually I want to make a website focused on origami. It will showcase a catalogue of my designs, but also offer tutorials for others to learn the craft. The more I can do to draw attention to it, the better, as more people should definitely take it up as it’s so fun!”
As an animal lover, Natheer’s designs of choice are usually creatures great and small, although he believes the swan is his absolute favourite.
He plans to return to Saar Mall during his next school holidays, this time with bigger and better objects as he continues to hone his skills.