interviewed by Predrag Pajdic, February 2007

When we met recently in Cairo I had the pleasure to visit your home/studio, which was full of drawings. You told me you use them as a storyboard, your way to develop an idea and to see it through to your final work. Why drawing?

As we talked when we met in Cairo, for me drawing is a medium of thinking process and emotional expression. It is like talking in the form of one's diary, very personal yet direct. I draw all the time and anywhere I happen to be. I think of it as my original language with which I could express myself fully and understand the process of my ideas developing. This is the real function of drawing for me, it is like a sequential mirror of one's world identity.

Cairo's art scene fascinates me. Your generation of artists is making their mark on the international scene already.
What is the driving force behind this success?
What is your driving force?

My generation grew in totally different environments, socially and politically, but we also have this awareness of our own diversities. Egypt has a real, strong unique character that looks like a transparent layer of old cultures mixed with popular and modern, and the contemporary. Actually this mixture is visible in our features, in our lives. Most of us are simply focusing on our work and our daily life with its fine details.

You mentioned your new idea for work 'The Breath'. Could you please tell me more about it?

'The Breath' is an audio video installation where the image, one shot in a slow motion of a drowning mosque (in water), is not used as an Islamic symbol since one could hardly even recognize the defined character of its kind. But what is visible, I hope, is its unique spiritual effect, as one can be aware of the environment that has a kind of religious history or spiritual activity. So the image was used purposely to evoke a multi religious metaphor, the same as the spoken word AMEN (heard in the background), which also has the same allegorical union and meaning, I believe.

Almost all prayers in world religions use it as the final word of a prayer. When pronounced or heard by many people at the same time, this word almost connects/unifies in the same spiritual moment, all lives as one. In this instant, with this breath, one could arrive at a higher spot from which to detach oneself from this endless drowning spiritual space (the world we live in). In the work, the word AMEN is repeated in an endless loop.

'The Breath' aims to unify all deferent religious perspectives in one. It is about finding a way to communicate through our social and cultural differences, which has become a universal misunderstanding, an immense conflict between the Middle East and the West; the reason for raising hate and wars.