Doha-based British artist Shahida Ahmed accepted the Alhambra Award for Excellence in the Arts at the annual British Muslim News Awards ceremony held in London last week.
Rt Hon Sajid Javid, British Cabinet Minister for Communities and Local Government, handed the award to Shahida at the event which saw messages from the British Prime Minister Theresa May and other civic leaders who celebrated the contribution of British Muslims to the multiculturalism of the UK.
Shahida, who divides her time between the UK and the Middle East, is Head of Art at Al Jazeera Academy and is working closely with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to develop a capsule scheme of work to engage Qatari students in the upper years of high school.
The education of young upcoming Qatari artists in this country plays a significant role in building a society which is creating future leaders.
“As a Western artist, I felt it was very important to represent Islamic art in my work to the Western world as I feel art is a universal dialogue,” she said. Her installations have been exhibited in Katara, the Islamic Museum of Australia and Sharjah Museum. Her latest work, titled “The New Dervish” which has been exhibited in Lebanon and UK explores the concept of spinning and the part it plays in the purification process.
Born in the UK, Shahida is an active member of the British Muslim community and was one of the first Muslim female Councilors in the North West of England.
Her work captures the dialogue that many artists currently find themselves as they lead global interconnected lives. Shahida’s work is scheduled to be shown later this year at the Karachi Biennale.
Originally published on www.thepeninsulaqatar.com