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Masking together

February 17 - February 23, 2021
Gulf Weekly Masking together

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Bahraini artists from across the kingdom have taken to social media posting colourful illustrations of themselves in masks in a bid to raise awareness about staying committed to combatting the spread of Covid-19.

For the past week, sites have been inundated with images of Bahraini cartoonists, artists, graphic designers and illustrators in artsy form to draw attention on the spike in Covid-19 cases and to remind people to stay safe and responsible.

Graphic designer Nujood Al Mahmood came up with the idea to rally around 30 other like-minded creative individuals to join the artistic campaign called Artists #commit4Bahrain.

“The numbers of cases are increasing and I thought since the danger is there, I wanted to remind people to remain cautious by wearing a mask and staying as safe as possible,” said the 31-year-old , from Muharraq who is a directing assistant of Watani children’s magazine.

 “I hope all our artistic illustrations will trend on social media making it viral in order to reach a larger audience. Our aim is to make a difference. Maybe with more people seeing the masks it will make them more committed to the cause.”

Earlier this week, as reported by our sister newspaper, the GDN, health promotion director Dr Wafa Al Sharbati underlined the importance of adhering to precautionary measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, calling it a ‘national duty’.

“The current phase requires more commitment to ensure the safety of the entire community – especially the elderly and those with chronic illnesses,” she warned.

As of last week, there were 4,812 confirmed cases and the average number of Covid-19 cases per day increased to 687.4.1 from 506 cases a day registered the previous week.

Nujood, who used digital art to create her illustration, added: “Anyone can join our artistic campaign and they can use whatever medium they’d like, be it digital art, traditional art or a normal selfie in a mask.

“The aim is to get people posting and sharing so that others will be reminded of our national duty to care for one another.

“They can post for a week or as long as they want. The goal is to spread awareness. Remember, please wear your mask, wash your hands and keep social distancing.

“I’d like to thank all the artists and people participating as it showcases that we aren’t alone, we are all in this together!”

Self-taught artist and cartoonist Turki Rashid Yaqoob, created a few digital artworks for the creative campaign. “Art is a message that can reach everyone in the simplest way to educate people,” said the 36-year-old from Hamad Town, who has been a cartoonist for five years. “Your drawing doesn’t have to be perfect; the main goal is the idea behind it. Let’s show that as Bahraini artists we can make a difference.”

Freelance artist and graphic designer Zahra Awadh was also more than happy to participate. The 24-year-old from Muharraq, who graduated from Bahrain Polytechnic with a visual design degree, said: “I hope people take safety measures more seriously and understand that they can live their daily lives while being safe especially for the sake of their families and loved ones. We can still have fun but we must stay safe at all times. Safety comes first, always!”

Freelance illustrator Mahmood Al Khaja, 34, used digital art as well to create his artistic awareness piece and promotes safety during the pandemic.

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