Peace Not War: Artists’ Reflections on Women’s Resilience in Yemen

To illustrate the very human impact of years of war, Oxfam invited Yemeni artists from all over the country to submit pieces demonstrating how the war has affected women and girls.

The paintings, drawings, and photographs in this gallery demonstrate that in times of war, despite a lack of stability and materials, the creative spirit continues to flourish. And overwhelmingly, the submissions Oxfam received not only portray why peace is necessary now, but point to women as harbingers of the way forward.

A few of the pieces, and their artist’s stories, are featured below. To see the full gallery visit: https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/yemen-art-gallery/

A Woman, Challenge and Resilience by Umhani Abdulla Mohammed Al-Wareeth

Al-Wareeth is an artist and English teacher. She has previously had her own art exhibition and has participated in many others.

“Yemeni women have grown stronger and more resilient despite all difficulties and obstacles they have experienced over the past three years. They have moved on with all their strength, patience, endurance and determination to overcome all obstacles standing in their way,” she said.

Pain & Hope by Nada Jalal Al-Saqaf

Al-Saqaf is a graduate of Graphic Design, lecturer in the Lebanese University, and a trainer at the GIPS Institute.

“The painting embodies the resilience of women during the war, and as we know that the burden of war and its aftermath is more severe on women than anyone else. In my art pieces I wanted to highlight the weak side of the strong women in which they emerge from under the rubble covered with dust carrying a little girl with the word future on her. It represents hope and the ability of women to stand,” said Al-Saqaf.

During War Ignorance is Established by Marwan Ahmed Maresh Malhi

Malhi is a graphic designer who has recently taken up photography.

“I wanted to take photos that reflect the reality of Yemen’s situation that is full of tragedy and pain. I capture anything that is insightful, expressive and artistic. The purpose is to show the innocence of children in times of war; the time of extremism and carnage where adults and children are being killed indiscriminately,” said Malhi.

A Yemeni Woman’s Look into the Horizon by Shihab Abdulbaset Ali Karman

Karman is an engineer, online and civil society activist, and conceptual artist.

“The artwork, painted last year, depicts a model of positive Yemeni women in traditional dress, the Sana’ani sitara dress. This work reflects somewhat the presented idea of women’s resilience during three years of war,” said Karman.