Feature: Artist shares message of hope through photo exhibition in crisis-hit Lebanon


By Eblt

BEIRUT, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese artist Maher Attar says he wants to convey a message of hope to viewers through a photo exhibition he organized in Beirut, the Lebanese capital he lived and loved.

"Through images of independence, deprivation, immigration, and what's left up to interpretation, my curation portrays Beirut as a woman who had endured war and hardships but never crumbled," Attar said.

The four-week exhibition, dubbed "Up and Coming - Talented Photographers," began on Aug. 9. The event is uplifting for the artistic community in Lebanon, which has been suffering from a steep economic crisis that has forced many artists to leave the country and caused a big number of cultural activities to be suspended.

By hosting 31 artistic works by 10 different artists at the Art District House of Photography in eastern Beirut, the exhibition represents Attar's efforts to support young Lebanese artists in showing their abilities and pursuing their artistic goals at times of difficulty.

"I believe in young people's potentials and in the diversity of art and photography, and I also enjoy sharing my experience and success with the younger generation," he said.

The Lebanese artist, now in his 50s, started his career as a war photographer during the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990. He has also covered the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, the Gulf War in 1990, and the Afghanistan War since 2001.

Participants in the exhibition are excited to display their works among Attar's wide network of artists, associates, and art enthusiasts in Lebanon.

The youngest artist in the exhibition, Cindy Abdo, believed the event offers a good chance to network with professional photographers and increase the visibility of her artistic works.

"Being the youngest photographer in the room and being the first to sell (artistic work) gave me a lot of motivation for the future," said the 21-year-old.

Tarek Saab, an artist in his 40s, says he is excited to send his photos to the exhibition.

"People are asking for my photos, I was surprised to see people showing big interest in my works," said Saab.

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