Some of the participating artists with Ajala Project co-founders Hassan Bello and Narmeen Naser Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A 16-year-old Dubai girl initiated a unique art exhibition in partnership with the Ajala Project, a social enterprise, in Dubai this week to showcase artworks representing countries where girls are denied access to education.

Called “Empowering Girls Through Education”, the five-day exhibition at Novotel World Trade Centre coincided with the International Women’s Day week. It aimed at raising funds for Dubai Cares, with 70 per cent of its proceeds being donated to a cause that stresses equal access to education for girls and boys.

Source of inspiration

Marsailie Shiyi Lin Troup from Greenfield Community School, Dubai, who initiated the event, said, “I became aware of this issue when studying the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Millennium Development Goal 2 of Universal Primary Education and the inspirational story of Malala Yousufzai who almost died defending her right to education and said, ‘All I want is education and I am afraid of no one’.”

Hassan Bello, co-founder of the Ajala Project, said, “Works of 17 artists were displayed at the exhibition. The artists included Ria Sharma, Erum Abd, Afshan Quraishi, Athira Nanda, Humaira Hussein, Linda Hollier, Minisha Bhardwaj and Sijin Gopinathan.”

List of countries

The countries the works represented included Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zambia.