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Thaier Helal
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Thaier Helal – Syria/United Arab Emirates

My name is Thaier Helal. I’m a Syrian artist. I live in Dubai now, but all my education was in Syria. In Syria I was born in a small village. It is close to Damascus, around an hour or more, but it is a very important area in the history.

The people, for example, are still using Aramaic language. I think that it is an interesting thing in the village, because it’s only this village in the world still using the language. Now all the people there are more focused on that language. The people are supporting to keep people speaking it.

My family was very simple people. My family had a big farm, and all the family worked on the farm with other people. But I was looking for different things. Nobody believed I would be an artist then. They were looking for me to be an engineer or doctor or to be close to home. But nobody believed I would be an artist, and nobody supported me. They were telling me to be something else, but not an artist. But I respected myself, and I was happy to be an artist. I didn’t know anything about art. It was not in my family. There was nobody who knew anything about art. But it was my dream to be an artist.

Then when I got to college and did well, they start to look at me as some different person, and they respect me and they support me. I was a success in college. Then I moved to the United Arab Emirates, and I start my life as an artist. It was very hard, very, very hard for me to be an artist.

Now I live as a full-time artist. I have a good success, I think. Also, I feel very lucky. We have good support there, and we can move from time to time to other countries, to meet artists, to learn to do many things. That is my life.

I am working as a painter, and from time to time I do installation work. I perform my work in many international camps and symposiums like this (Inter-Art). Still I am looking to do much more. I have a good feeling for that. I have a big dream. I want to do many things.






2008 Patricia Goodrich
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