Halla Ramadan has good cause to smile. She learned to use art to depict her natural and cultural environment and produced several beautiful paintings that were displayed in an exhibition in Marsa Alam. On top of that, she won an award that was presented to her at a public event attended by local authorities, her friends, and her family, as part of a USAID-funded effort to raise environmental awareness among children in Egypt’s Southern Red Sea area.
The exhibition was the culmination of the project’s strengthened efforts to encourage creativity among children while teaching about the environment. Because entries to previous editions of the art contest were paintings lacking an environmental theme produced using only a few colors on the back of scrap paper or old cardboard, an environmental art initiative was started.
Art teacher Mohammed Nasser conducted a series of workshops for students and teachers to promote environmental art. Each workshop was preceded by a colorful video of the Red Sea environment, followed by an interactive session that lead to the idea of using the environment as a subject for art. Next, everyone painted, with Nasser sharing techniques and providing assistance. A variety of art supplies was furnished, and students mounted their paintings appropriately. Afterwards, the participants discussed and assessed each other’s paintings.
School exhibits were held, and a special team judged the paintings. Finally, an exhibit of selected paintings was held in Marsa Alam in conjunction with the governor’s visit to the area.
Halla is just one of many children whose enthusiasm for their environmental art has spread to their parents and to the wider community. Through their artwork, others are seeing the Red Sea environment with new eyes, and gaining more knowledge and appreciation for it.
Last updated: June 13, 2012