Birmingham City University named Bahraini student Tamadher Alfahal as Alumni of the Year….reports Asian Lite News
Tamadher Alfahal, a practising artist and teacher from Bahrain, has been named one of Birmingham City University’s Alumni of the Year. She will receive her award on Monday 11 January in Symphony Hall, Birmingham (UK), in the presence of hundreds of graduands and their families.
After completing a degree in Interior Design at the University of Bahrain, Tamadher came to Birmingham City University to complete her MA. She returned home to teach on her undergraduate course, while also building up her reputation as a practising artist. Tamadher, who hails from Muharraq, has contributed to several art workshops and was a member of the Bahraini team at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2010.
The Alumni of the Year award provides an opportunity to recognise Birmingham City University graduates who have made a valuable contribution to society or their professional field. It also demmonstrate the extraordinary range of achievements among the University’s former students.
On finding out that she had been selected for the award, Tamadher Alfahal said: “I felt honoured and privileged to be selected as an Alumni of the Year among many people who graduated from Birmingham City University and made great progress in their careers. I am honoured that I am sharing this title with people who made outstanding accomplishments. I am actually overwhelmed with gratitude that my University is acknowledging the work that I did after I graduated and I am truly thankful to be selected.”
Tamadher will receive the award in the Community Engagement and Leadership category, which recognises her work in bringing 12 artists from different parts of Bahrain to facilitate art as way to better promote integration within society. Project Ulafa’a sees the artists work closely with young people to use art and design to celebrate their common ground, building a stronger and safer community.
“Project Ulafa’a aims to bring society together again, by facilitating art as a form of expression instead of violence. I brought together 12 young artists from different parts of Bahrain, who all believed in the power art had to touch people’s hearts and help in healing. Through a series of artworks and exhibitions, the group mainly focused on community-driven artwork and a collaborative approach, rather than artists producing work in an isolated way,” she added.
“After one year of meeting once a week, and an intensive training week in Peacebuilding and the Arts, offered by Brandeis University in Boston, the group opened three independent self-curated exhibitions to the public, offering artworks that spoke to various levels of the community.”
As a result of her work with Project Ulafa’a and as a practising artist, in 2014 Tamadhar was invited to talk in Bangalore in India, as part of a TEDx conference, on what it means to be a modern Muslim women living in the Middle East today.
Tamadhar is now back in Birmingham, undertaking a PhD with Birmingham City University on the basis of Islamic art and design. She is also an alumni mentor at the University and visits current students on the MA course to discuss their ideas and offer support.