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Twinge Sharjah festival shows off unknown talent

Women's participation exceeds organisers' expectations

Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
Laila Akeel (right), a jewellery designer, displays her jewellery during the Twinge Sharjah Festival in the Maraya ArtCentre in Al Qasba on Thursday.
Gulf News

Sharjah The number of women participants at the week-long Twinge Sharjah festival that concludes Friday has exceeded organisers' expectations.

The event offers talented individuals in the UAE a platform to showcase their skills.

"This is like the Fringe Festival, but twitterised," said Sharif Abaza, founder of Twinge. "We try to have an interaction with the artists and the audience. We also have interactive shows every night that cover film, poetry and fashion, so that if they were not able to display their work in public before, now they can." Abaza said that the youngest participant is a 15-year-old pupil while the eldest is an 72-year-old Emirati man, who recited poetry.

Twinge-SHJ (SHJ stands for Sharjah) is being held at Maraya Art Centre, Al Qasba, and features 49 artists, including poets, musicians, fashion designers and filmmakers.

October plans

"Arab participation is almost 90 per cent and we certainly have more women participating than in Twinge Dubai," Abaza said, while adding that Twinge Sharjah will be held again this October and then in Dubai in December. One of the main highlights of Twinge features a runway by two Arab women who are alumnae of the American University of Sharjah.

Eman Khattab, who majored in Environmental Science, has set up her own company along with her business partner Nemat Al Shuloh, an architect. Their one-month-old company Eclat, said Khattab, "offers people what is not available in the market, like trendy conservative fashion".

Along the corridor of the Maraya Art Centre, your gaze cannot help but fall upon an attractive collection of endangered animals from the region. The style of the collection is a simple and effective one that focuses on the idea of endangerment. The artwork is ultimately a calendar of 12 animals that were integrated digitally, as well as coloured and printed, by Deema Hatahet, who graduated from the University of Sharjah in 2011.

"The postcards are a reminder to the people of how these animals do not want to be limited, so I want to spread the illustrative postcards around the world. Through the exhibition, I'm hoping to receive enough encouragement from others in order to continue working with awareness topics."