In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Miles2Smile Foundation organized an emergency relief art exhibition titled “Prints for Palestine”.
“The exhibition came together in an urgent manner of course,” Miles2Smile’s founder & director Aasif Mujtaba said. “Within a few days, we had the designs of all the artists ready to go … This is not the kind of art exhibition with a curation, this is an emergency sale. Our subject matter is clear : shine a light on Palestine.”
“I hope people visiting our stall see a few important messages in our art pieces. Firstly, how the world has failed the children of Gaza, not just in seeing their suffering but in feeling it in their hearts. Second, our art represents the strength of the people in Gaza as they resist occupation,” adds Mujtaba.
“Each time a design is sold and shared, it acts as a reminder for people who are still not speaking up to speak up and put an end to the occupation in Palestine,” he adds further.
The Rekhta Foundation, established in 2012, offers groups and businesses a chance to put up stalls and showcase their work at a three day annual art event, held in December each year.
Reflecting on the previous year’s success, Miles2Smile foundation chose to set up its calligraphy stall, this year too, showcasing powerful Palestinian art created by various artists, with proceeds dedicated to supporting Gaza victims through the Red Crescent Society.
For many artists across the world witnessing the war unfolding in Gaza, weaponizing their art has become the only way for them to process this tragedy.
One such artist Fatima, who splits her time between ‘art’ and ‘academics’, has created many collages on paper, wood, and canvas, in which she’s used images of olives, birds, jasmine, and strawberries. These elements represent what Palestine is famous for and what makes it beautiful, she says, and her artworks have gained attention from many visitors at the stall.
She hopes the artwork that she has put up in our stall for sale will help draw attention to the situation in Palestine which only deserves peace.
A golden dome, representing Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem serves as the backdrop for Fatima’s latest work, which she put up on sale at our Rekhta stall.
“The creation of this artwork was driven by my fervent belief in the eventual freedom of Palestine,” she tells us. “It serves as a reminder of our need for patience, as we trust in the support and imminent victory promised by Allah.”
Fatima hopes her artwork instills in people the same conviction in the liberation of Gaza. “It’s a response to the challenging days we’ve witnessed, and a beacon of hope for all the Muslim world, reflecting the assurance given to us in the Quran.”
Visitors overwhelmingly rallied behind the Palestinian cause, expressing their joy in supporting a larger humanitarian effort. Some even volunteered their time, emphasizing the personal satisfaction derived from contributing not just monetarily but also through active participation in sales.
“I’ve donated through other platforms earlier. But rather than just donating money, I’m putting in my effort here through sales. So it makes me feel good about it,” said a volunteer, Umar Farook, 56, who visited our stall.
For those drawn to works that celebrate Palestine’s many symbols and its vibrant culture, Fatima’s pieces may catch your eye, Mujtaba says.
The stall featured about a dozen merchandise items, creatively designed by Miles2Smile’s teams. From wall posters and paintings to calligraphy work, lamps, badges, and Palestinian art, each item symbolized solidarity with Palestine.
Painting is not made to decorate apartments. It’s an offensive and defensive weapon.
A noteworthy addition to this year’s offerings was tote bags crafted by women who were victims of the Northeast Delhi riots. These bags, created at the Tahrat center in Shiv Vihar, not only supported the cause for Palestine but also provided these women with an opportunity to make a living and showcase their work.
The sale, which surpassed its initial internal goal within two days of launch, continues online, with additional artists contributing to the campaign.
The foundation hopes to include these new artworks in an extended section of the sale, further amplifying the support for Gaza.
India’s Stance On Israel-Palestine Conflict
India’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict is deeply rooted in its historical support for the Palestinian cause and the principles of international law. The country has consistently supported a two-state solution, advocating for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state coexisting peacefully alongside Israel.
From time to time, India has called for a negotiated settlement through direct talks, urging both parties to exercise restraint and avoid actions that escalate tensions. At the same time, India has enhanced its bilateral ties with Israel, particularly in the fields of defense, technology, and agriculture.