Zainab al-Qolaq is a fine artist and research intern at the Geneva-based rights group Euro-Med Monitor. She lost 22 family members on May 24, 2021, including her mother and three of her siblings, during the latest Israeli onslaught on besieged Gaza.
On Tuesday, Euro-Med Monitor and ‘UN Women Palestine’ organized an art exhibition, where they featured the powerful and emotive paintings of Zainab.
In the two-day exhibition, entitled “I am 22, I lost 22 people”, Zainab displayed nine pieces she painted following the attack, in which she depicted the suffering she endured from the moment her house was bombed, her 12-hour stay under the rubble, only to find out that she had lost 22 members of her family.
She also portrayed life situations and internal struggles that she has experienced since that time.
“Each of these paintings portrays moments and situations that words cannot express. They are things that are difficult to describe or even imagine,” Zainab said.
“Through painting, I was able to express a small part of what I lived on that day and after. This exhibition, which contains my paintings and texts, is my voice that I seek to be heard by everyone.”
Maha Hussaini, Strategy Director at Euro-Med Monitor, said: “Despite our deep sorrow for what happened with Zainab and her family, we are proud of her courage and determination to overcome the trauma and speak firmly of what happened to her. She is truly an inspiring model for a strong survivor.”
In May 2021, Israel launched a devastating 11-days military offensive on Gaza, which killed over 260 Palestinian civilians, including 67 children.
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)