Yemeni cartoonists display talents at Culture House [Archives:2008/1125/Local News]

January 28 2008

SANA'A, Jan. 28 ) A cartoon exhibit at the Culture House dazzled the few visitors that came to see the show, the first of its kind in Sana'a.

The featured drawings were the outcome of a seven-day training course for 12 professional and amateur cartoonists. Yemen's Ministry of Culture sponsored both the training and the exhibit.

Many of the cartoons turned a critical eye on socio-political and economic issues, while others depicted famous proverbs and sayings.

“There are a number of cartoonists and the art itself is very popular in Yemen, especially in newspapers,” Culture House manager Yahya Al-Dailami noted, adding, “We trained these cartoonists to improve their skills and encourage others.”

“Many hidden cartooning talents haven't been exposed because talented cartoonists haven't had the chance to show their drawing talents,” remarked Mazin Shuja, a popular cartoonist for Al-Thawrah newspaper who participated in the exhibit.

In May, the Culture Ministry will hold an international fine arts meeting in an effort to encourage artists from different countries to exchange experiences.

“This current exhibit for Yemeni caricaturists and the meeting in May are positive signs of the Yemeni government's intent to improve caricature art in Yemen,” Al-Dailami noted.

Due to the rarity of shows like these in Yemen, aside from opening day, few came to see the exhibit.

“People are concerned about other things such as increasing their low income and providing their families a better life. Such exhibits just may not interest them,” commented Mustafa Omran, a Yemeni writer who visited the show.

However, he did have a few words of encouragement for the cartoonists. “I suggest the Yemeni government establish a union or even a club for cartoonists where they can meet to exchange ideas and experiences,” he proposed.

Having begun last Thursday, the show concludes today.