The agony and despair of the Kuwaiti people while under Iraqi occupation was depicted in the work of an award-winning Middle Eastern artist Saturday at the University of Utah.
Mahmoud Jadallah's paintings were on display during the week at the Marriott Library, culminating in a slide presentation Saturday.The artist has lived in Kuwait most of his life. During the Kuwaiti occupation and liberation he painted scenes depicting the people of the country.
Many of the paintings have similar themes.
Several depict the plight of women during the war. One painting shows the shattered body of a woman, suggesting the occupation of Kuwait was destroying all good.
Another scene portrays a woman giving comfort and strength to a bruised and beaten man. During the occupation of Kuwait the men hid from Iraqi soldiers to remain safe. Thus, women did all the work.
The occupation crushed traditional gender roles as it is unusual for Kuwaiti women to have power, do most of the work and give comfort and support to men, according to Ahmed Jadallah, brother of the artist and translator for him.
Other paintings depict women as peaceful people caught in a struggle for life because of others' politics.
Some pictures depict Kuwaitis severed from traditions they once enjoyed. Jadallah painted people boxed in by the occupation of Kuwait, yet reaching out for help and a better future.
The slide presentation, given by Jadallah and his brother, featured some of the artist's earlier works.
Jadallah is here "to share with people in the United States his emotions and experiences of the recent conflict." His family is in Jordan while he travels the United States.