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January 21 2000
Yemeni Art on YALI Walls Talented Yemeni Students Need More Encouragement 
Omar Al-Yafei, 
Yemen Times 
Many Yemeni students, of all ages: at schools, English Institutions and universities have varied talents, but they dont get the opportunity to display these skills. So, they practice these hobbies at home and derive enjoyment from them. When I recently went to talk to some of these students, at YALI, I discovered their resourcefulness. 
 Among these creative activities organized, by an active American women, Ms. Marie Hurlburt, who is an English Teaching Fellow, advisor, trainer and teacher at YALI. I was invited to a Poster Art Exhibit that she organized. Frankly, I expected to find something quite ordinary, but instead I discovered something great! The Exhibit was beautiful as well as educational. I was impressed to encounter a teacher like Ms. Marie who wants to encourage the students, at YALI, to expand and expose their talents. The whole idea was to encourage the students artistic talent as well as their knowledge of English. All art had to have an English theme. The students used many diverse means to express themselves in their artistic expression and some were deeply profound and wonderful.  I discovered the students had the ability to take simple things like vegetables and fruit, great men of history, Yemeni culture and tourism, and different nationalities to not only to have beauty but teach English as well. Over seventy-five entries were submitted and Ms. Marie said they were all winners and would grace the wall and hall of YALI. A number of students participated and many males and females won prizes for their entries, but the top three winners were awarded to: 1st prize-Asma Mohammed Al-Hamdi, 2nd prize-Bushra Ahmed Abass and 3rd prize-Samira Ahmed Al-Othary. 
Ms. Marie, the organizer of this exhibition, said that it is important to have Yemeni art at YALI institute. She pointed out the name of the institution Yemeni-American Language Institute, and it is important for the students and to feel proud and able to contribute to the school they attend. She came up with the because there was so little on the walls of YALI to both educate decorate. So she instituted the idea and has been delighted with the response. Ms. Marie hopes that many of the talented students will be discovered and famous in the arena. 
I interviewed the top three winners; Asma, Bushra and Samira. My questions to them were about what they hoped to convey with their art, and the importance of their respective art work. Their answers follow: 
1st Prize Winner: Asma Al- Hamdi: 
Before I paint I thought about something that would make people think deeply about others and gain from it. My painting is about nationalities of the world. My aim was to show the importance and uniqueness of people around the world. They represent originality and greatness of their countries. I put them in native costumes. They are historical and colorful. For example, I chose Sphinx from Egypt, Native American, Japanese Yemeni andetc. The focus of my painting is African boy that I hope calls attention to the current bad circumstances in many African countries. I hope it will touch peoples heart to help the poor countries of the world. I collected those pictures from different books and magazines for inspiration. I like historical figures and I analyzed to make my characters from different countries pure. 
By choosing different countries I would enable my classmates to know more about these characters. 
Painting means everything in my life because it is another way to express feelings besides speaking my native Arabic and second language English. Finally, I would like to say that I would like to decorate my country with paintings. I would like to see it beautiful like a beautiful painting because Yemen is a historical country. Finally, I would like to thank my teacher, Ms. Marie . 
2nd Prize Winner: Bushra Abass: 
My interest in art began with  drawing on fabric, which is a very accurate type of work. Then, I began to practice this hobby in different mediums  of painting. The work that won me the prize I chose to help educate my classmates and it gives me satisfaction to know it is helping them. I pondered whether or not to do animals or fruit and vegetables. I finally, I decided to paint vegetables and fruit because I have all the pictures and their names and thought they would be most helpful to the students. They also draw on nature. I spent two crowded weeks drawing and coloring different kinds of vegetables and fruits. My intention here is not to get money, but to fulfill my talent in this area, which I have worked on since my primary school days. It also helped me to further develop my abilities. 
I recommend that all my classmates who want to be successful to devote themselves and work hard and they want will meet their goals. I want to thank my family and my favorite teacher Ms. Marie and Dr. Aziza who encouraged me from the day of the announcement telling me I would do well and be a winner. 
3rd Prize Winner: Samira Al- Othary: 
For about five- years I have drawn on glass. I have desired to such occasions and exhibitions. So, when I was told by Ms. Marie that she was organizing a Poster Art Contest I wanted to enter and let people see what I could accomplish. 
I chose fruit because it is from nature and nature gives us peace. Nature, to me, is a soft word and means friendship, purity and beauty. I chose fruit in order to express my faith in my friends. I am very happy to participate and got the 3rd   prize. I hope I will have other opportunities to show my work. I would like to acknowledge my thanks to my family, who encouraged mea and thank my Ms.  Marie and my teacher Karema, who helped me a lot.