Friday, 26 February 2016


Like tumbleweeds racing by the whirlwind, last year saw me journeying from one landscape to another, leaving many houses behind, and saying way too many 'goodbyes'..

I've been weight down by the demands of reality as I was aspiring towards the light of creativity, trying hard as ever to make ends meet after setting myself free from the chuckles of the corporate world and a job that made me gray to earn money.. to pursue art, a life that I always wanted to lead instead of merely dreaming about it..  realizing the thin ropes that I'll be walking upon to provide for my daily needs, but that's a sacrifice I was welling to make.

 However, changing homes and the career shift were quite unsettling and restlessness seized hold of my life... but my journey last year, hard as it was, taught me to embrace uncertainty, and to let myself be sharpened and honed by it.


Alas, when I had more time on my hands for my craft, I found myself facing the longest creative burn-out I have ever had.... unable to cross through the doorway into the realm of creation, it was hard not to panic.. I've lost my inspiration, and i found myself wondering "What if I've lost it for good? I'll have to be back again to the corporate world... I'm not even sure if I can.."

But the words of  Thomas Mann echoed in my ears "We can't wait for those perfect moments, when daily life seems to melt away and nothing exists but the fire of inspiration. Those moments of grace are precious, but rare. Treasure them, he says, but don't depend upon them; for the rest of the time we must be able to work despite the bills clamoring for attention, the dog barking, the telephone ringing, and the mailman at the door."

So I drowned myself in the act of creation. I practiced my craft diligently for hours every day. I practiced because I longed to draw, because there is something I alone can create. I scribbled and erased and scribbled again, I mad "bad art", put it away, and made another and another.. I knew I must get them all out of my system in order to finally reach a line that is in perfect harmony with my deepest nature.. I knew I must dig deeper and deeper to a place where the root of creativity lies, all the while learning to free myself from the obligation of perfection.. learning to accepted what comes out of my creative silence and learning to make the best out of it.

My talent might be humble, I can't draw the line I wish to draw, but I can and will draw the line I am capable of drawing. Again and again throughout the course of my life..

I found pleasure in the practice itself and by being open to the mystery and the miracle of life, I was 
able to find art, inspiration and beauty.

A root that dreamt of becoming human...

There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged.

Such moments are most desirable,

for it means the soul has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places.

This is detachment --
when the old is over and the new has not yet come. 

If you are afraid, the state may be distressing,

but there is really nothing to be afraid of. 

Remember the instruction:

Whatever you come across -—

go beyond."

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

One of my summer journeys lead me to the oasis of Siwa... a land out of time, where ancient traditions and ancient mud-break houses are still standing like a steadfast soldier against the concrete risings in a battle between modern and primitive...

The old crumbling walls once harbored  people's lives most of them now are mere barns for farm animals and bats...

The old walls still hold the tribal history and many stories of people's comings and goings, their thoughts and dreams, their happiness and their sorrows..

In Siwa I worked as a Woldorf tutor for a very talented young Danish artist Electra, Electra's mum is Ellen Raven, a wonderful textile artist and her brother Theo is a talented crafty young man and their beautiful mud-break house was constructed by Electra's skillful and talented father Henrik.. 

together with Electra we made art, music and rhymes.. we told and heard manystories all the while delighting in our daily finds in nature that lays right outside our tiny classroom's door..

 we even made some new friends...

Siwa brought me a surprise that changed my everyday... Meet Sounbul-Wheat Spikelet... a two month old stray pup, when found he was all alone, lost in an isolated part of the oasis suffering from an eye infection, starvation and abuse.. I took him in and gave him a home within my heart..

he joined our daily wanders and brought me and Electra so much joy and laughter..

and by fall it was time to wave goodbye to the beautiful oasis..

we journeyed back together towards the lights of the big city...

And oh my, he grew so fast...

Autumn had a another surprise for me underneath its golden leaves... not long after we arrived to the city we met Bessella -bea.- a beautiful tiny pup the color of autumn leaves, suffering from separation anxiety and desperately looking for home... she stole our heart at first sight and we immediately took her in...

My family expanded and my life was filled once again with furry love..

as winter approached I joined a puppetry workshop by the amazing puppet master Bernd Ogrodnik and his lovely wife Hilder at the Egyptian National Puppet Theater.

I have been admiring the work of Ogrodnik since I was 19 years old and I was inspired by his work and his way of life so you can imagine my immense joy to be accepted in his workshop, to be working under his supervision and to be face to face with his amazing work .

I learned a lot from Bernd, not just about puppetry and woodwork.. but also about patience, talorance and approaching life with reverence.

During the workshop I met with many talented fellow artists from different walks of life, we exchanged stories and shared experiences and I was genuinely sad when it was time to say goodbye at the end of the workshop.

But then an idea sparked in my mind... to reunite my fellow puppeteers and make an annual puppeteers exhibition, in which we all could apply what we have learned from our workshop and share our past experiences and visions all under one roof.

This was the first exhibition I organize, it was hard work and despite my lack of experience I somehow managed to do it all without any outside funding. Sadly though I was pretty much occupied with the organization of the exhibition and being a mentor and giving a helping hand to my fellow artists which didn't allow much time for me to participate with my own work on time...

but the exhibition was an unexpected huge success and seeing the happiness in the eyes of my fellow puppeteers as their work was being admired and the joy it brought to the hearts and eyes of our audience made it all worthwhile.

During the exhibition I held a free workshop for corrugated card board marionette construction, a technique that I acquired years ago from the amazing Kurt Hunter aiming to encourage fellow artists to step into the world of puppetry without the use of heavy tools and the hardships of finding proper wood for carving in Egypt.

I was happy to have artist Rana Shamel join my worksho, she made caricatures for all the workshop's participants... and she didn't forget about me :)
The workshop was also a success and my students were better than great and I ended up making new friends and heartfelt memories to cherish.

All of this felt quite amazing giving that I've hardly made any art last year. I'm really proud of  this exhibition, and excited that it hurled s for me a new chapter of puppet making and I started working on my first puppet performance.

It's still a work in progress and I shall tell you all about in due time. but for now I think this post went on longer than I initially intended and I shall leave you now with a glimpse of my one eyed adventurer who's learning to approach life with due reverence.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Season's greetings

It has been over a year since I was here last sharing my days, my thoughts and my work with you.. Much has been happening with my life but of that I shall tell you in due time...

For now I would like to share with you my creation inspired by the season..

There he is, little Krampus, tongue-sticking, mischievous looking carrying a sack full of bells...

Wishing you all a creative wintertime, magical yule, a merry Christmas and a year ahead filled with unexpected delights. wherever you are, may your days be warm and your hearts brimming with joy.