Feature: Yemeni female artist shows beauty, hopes through paintings

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SANAA, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Rawya Ahmed, a Yemeni female artist, opened her first personal exhibition in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa. Instead of visualizing the pains of the war and destruction, the artist's paintings offer a rare serene beauty, which she hopes to console the people that have been caught up in the bloody war.

"For me, it was a discharge of negative energy that I have got during the war. I used to feel annoyed but didn't know how to get rid of the pressures. Luckily, I finally found that I can seek shelter in the beautiful things, " Rawya told Xinhua.

Rawya's exhibition is a rarity in Yemen since the war erupted in 2014. Now for most Yemenis, the most pressing problems are escaping the next air raid or finding the next meal for their families. But some artists, like Rawya, now try to put the country in a positive light through their brushes and colors, and try to find an escape for the people and themselves to momentarily forget the sounds of explosions and air raids.

In Rawya's paintings, she tried to change the misery on people's faces by using delightful colors.

"In the exhibition, we have special sections on paintings of famous people in the country, such as the Yemeni writer and poet Abdullah Al-Baradouni, and the singer Abu Bakr Salem," Rawya said, adding that the artistic portraits of familiar faces can offer people a nostalgic consolation before the war erupted.

While daily life in Yemen is tough to say the least, some people still seek aesthetic pleasures. Many visitors coming to the Rawya's exhibition believed it could alleviate the despair inside their hearts.

Samah Al-Wajih, one of the visitors who attend the exhibition, expressed her gladness in the paintings and wished all the world to see that there is still beauty, despite the destruction, in the country.

"It is terrific that in the disaster-stricken country, there are still people capable of creating beautiful arts like this. This certainly calls on the world that there are hope and life inside this war-ravaged country," Al-Wajih told Xinhua.

"Young men and women are looking, through their paintings, for love, peace, and safety away from the war. In these drawings, You can feel the touches of a person who wants peace and a good life far off the crazy war that destroyed souls," Abdul Wasea Al-Ahnoumi, an organizer of the exhibition, said.

The fighting between Iran-backed Houthi militia and a Saudi-led military coalition supporting the country's internationally-recognized government has left the Arab country in ruins.

"We had enough war really. Not a single day goes by without losing a person dear to us. The war needs to stop. We need responsible authorities to help us protect peace and art, not inciting wars," the artist said. Enditem

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