Inspired by graffiti artists and political activist Banksy, Ghada bnt Ali is using art as a form of expression, and she’s getting political.
A graphic design graduate from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Ghada bnt Ali works for Qatar Museums in acquisitions by day, but by night she becomes ‘geeak’, a political commentator with a touch of art.
Ghada never planned to become a political cartoonist, but the frustration of silently watching what her home country Qatar is going through had to be expressed, according to Doha News.
“Qatar was being bullied, and everything that has happened with the crisis allowed me to use it (drawing) as an outlet,” the 28-year-old said.
Despite being a designer and an art enthusiast for years, she only began drawing political cartoons a few months back.
“I only did this to find a different outlet, I didn’t expect it to explode per se. But the more I did, the more I got interaction and reactions from people. I posted consecutively for about four days, and after that people said they were waiting for a new one.”
Imagine your daughter coming back from school one day with a letter expelling her from school. As a parent you are left dumbstruck with this extreme and unfair punishment. You know she is a smart and well behaved girl and yes she may have her fair share of "cheekiness" but not enough to justify such a strong action. You ask why and she stays quiet. You go to school only to find the principal accusing your daughter of "racism" and other unspeakable behavior, knowing deep down that that does not embody her true character. In fact as a parent you always had a feeling about her friends. Classic "Mean girls", petty, sly and manipulative. But you never expected the sudden bipolar twist in the plot. You find out they orchestrated the whole scenario through hacking her social media to BULLY her into submission. All they had to do was plant the seed. No parent wishes to see their child bullied in school. Neither would they ever accept an environment where bullying is tolerable. So, if we don't tolerate bullying from kids and teenagers why is it that adults can get away with it? Why can they lie and defame ? And to add salt to the wound, they do it in Ramadan of all months. A dear friend shared a quote from the ever so relevant "1984" by George Orwell. "If all others accepted the lie which the party imposed, if all records told the same tale, then the lie past into history and became truth" If you stand against bullying, then you stand with basic principals. #QatarMeansPeace
Back in June, she shared her first cartoon on her social media accounts, a peace sign shaped as a Q in maroon, the color of Qatar’s national flag.
It was a success, and after publishing a few more cartoons, her artwork was picked up by people all over Qatar and beyond.
One particular graphic even became quite popular in Turkey. It says “the leader” in Arabic calligraphy inspired by the Turkish flag, and is a tribute to Turkey and its leader’s support to Qatar.
“I got lots of messages from Turkish people after that,” Doha News cited.
“I really want to get my work out there in the global arena. You don’t see a lot of people from the Middle East showcasing their point of view like that.”