Nidaa al-Shanty, a young Palestinian woman from the Gaza Strip, likes to perform Chinese quilling art to create decorative designs to present them as gifts to her family members and friends.
“I started this unique art one year ago when I saw some Chinese artists making attractive quilled portraits by using colored papers on Facebook,” the 24-year-old young woman told Xinhua while quilling papers to shape her new design.
In the beginning, al-Shanty said she resorted to this kind of art as a way to get rid of the negative energy that she was suffering from when she became unemployed soon after her graduation.
“I learned it because it teaches me to pay attention to the smallest details when making each portrait,” she said.
“Later, I found myself falling in love with this rare art,” said al-Shanty, who has a degree in sociology, adding that she felt proud of herself when all people, who received her gifts, praised her.
She said that her portraits could help bring positive energy into the houses. “At that moment, I decided to invest my energy and my experience into this new hobby to create a new method that would help people, especially children, to get rid of their negative energy.”
“We live in the most impoverished area, which has been suffering from complicated economic and political situations,” she said, adding that “the consequences of the unstable life negatively affected the psychological state of people here.”
In a bid to achieve what she is looking for, the young woman has produced dozens of quilled portraits and established her first-ever exhibition in the Gaza Strip to show her work to other people.
She believes that the most essential thing needed by the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is to get rid of psychological pressure by investing in their various talents.
The Gazans have been living under a tight Israeli blockade since 2007, when Hamas seized control over the Strip.
Since then, the Israeli blockade, as well as the ongoing Palestinian internal divisions, had led to the deterioration of the humanitarian conditions and contributed to the dire economic situation of the enclave’s young population.
Furthermore, the spread of the novel coronavirus in the coastal enclave and its consequences have negatively affected the psychological state of local residents.
“I think that the situation will not change soon. So, we should help ourselves to overcome those harmful circumstances by our own methods,” al-Shanty said.
“I will take my first step and sell my portraits to invest the money in teaching the needy women and children how they can get rid of their negative mood by producing beautiful things and earn money,” she said.