Author Topic: Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East  (Read 644 times)

Online Shiranu

Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East
« on: December 20, 2017, 12:15:00 AM »
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The streets and walls of Beirut are covered with art. Graffiti of all different designs adorn every surface and colors jump out, seemingly trying to escape their cool gray canvases.

This is where the Arab Ink Project was born.

It's an initiative that explores Arabic culture through art, design and tattoos and shines a light on a culture little known beyond the Arab world -- even to people who visit the region.

The project is the brainchild of Bashar Alaeddin, who took inspiration from Beirut's graffiti as a creatively stifled freelancer back in 2013.

...

"What's happening right now all over the US is fear and division," Malak says. "Unfortunately the image that we have of the Middle East and the Arab world is connected to fear."

Alaeddin's ambition for the Arab Ink Project is to try to break down these preconceptions.

"The Arab world is very diverse, it's extremely complex, but down at the heart of it we all have the same stories, we all have the same ambitions, the same meaning," Alaeddin says of the project's message.

...

"When the international community think about the Middle East they think it's all about war, conflict and refugees," Alaeddin says.
"That is such a small part of a population of 400 million people. They actually have a life, have work and do go out and get tattoos. They showcase their tattoos and are willing to actually share their tattoo stories."

Alaeddin is hopeful with initiatives like his, the Arab world and the wider international community will realize we have more similarities than differences.

"You start to build your own image of a person and I want to break that down. I just want their story first," Alaeddin continues. "The Arab Ink Project is a portrait of a person with their tattoo and their story. It doesn't give you any restrictions as the viewer about how you can relate to them."


(link to the gallery)


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The article reminded me of an Arab guy who came into my store a few times... white kufi, conservative clothes... and a sleeve tattoo down his entire left arm and up onto his neck. Or the Egyptian girl I knew who wore a nose ring, ripped jeans and rock shirts most of the time, yet was devoutly Muslim. Or while we are at it, just... Turks in general.

The point being, we have this very black and white view of Arab people (and Arabs of us), this black and white view of Chinese (and Chinese of us), and so on... but ultimately when you actually meet them, those stereotypes generally don't mean shit. Yes... there are plenty of "Group X" that meet the stereotype; but the same logic can be said of Americans... because a Brit met several American tourists who were obese and utterly disrespectful, does that mean that the average American is obese and disrespectful?


It's nice to see that veil pulled back, and when you look at them... for all you know, they could be American Christians, or French Jews, or whatever. That is what the majority of the Arab world is made up of; not scary men in turbans and beards to their knees, but every day people who look no different than us. And again, that can be said of any country, once you get past skin colour.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 12:17:41 AM by Shiranu »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 01:51:34 AM »
Prejudice isn't just some natural irrational reaction to difference ... though it is that.  It is also inculcated by social and cultural patterns, as manipulated by people in power.  Personally, I don't have any problem with Muslims or Arabs ... they are just as normal, and dangerous, as my neighbors.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 07:03:15 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2017, 05:46:55 AM »
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Prejudice isn't just some natural irrational reaction to difference ... thought it is that.  It is also inculcated by social and cultural patterns, as manipulated by people in power.  Personally, I don't have any problem with Muslims or Arabs ... they are just as normal, and dangerous, as my neighbors.

I am not the same person I was in my 20s.  So if I had a tattoo from my 20s, I would surely be embarrassed by it.  And I sure wouldn't have it where it could be seen in everyday clothes! 

Heck, I don't even wear any jewelry.  My watchband is even just velcro, and the watch is the bare minimum required functionally.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2017, 07:04:55 AM »
Well when we get older, it is best to have shoes that close with velcro, like toddlers have ;-)

My dad was in the Navy, had tattoos, and regretted them.  I haven't had them.  But my regret was that he regretted them.  I liked them, on him.
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Offline pr126

Re: Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2017, 07:12:32 AM »
I do not like tattoos or any body modifications.

Being an old codger. I think it is just attention seeking.
Usually done on the spur of the moment with too much alcohool in the bloodstream.

Another thing, ear rings or ponytail on old men who should know better.

/rant off.
"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their free will."
 - Joseph Goebbels

Offline Baruch

Re: Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2017, 07:14:17 AM »
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I do not like tattoos or any body modifications.

Being an old codger. I think it is just attention seeking.
Usually done on the spur of the moment with too much alcohool in the bloodstream.

Another thing, ear rings or ponytail on old men who should know better.

/rant off.

I keep a ponytail  to avoid a comb-over, and so I can cut my own hair.  Snip-snip go the split ends.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Arab Ink Project: Tattooing in the Middle East
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2017, 10:00:21 AM »
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I do not like tattoos or any body modifications.

Being an old codger. I think it is just attention seeking.
Usually done on the spur of the moment with too much alcohool in the bloodstream.

Another thing, ear rings or ponytail on old men who should know better.

/rant off.

In honor of you, I may grow another ponytail!  LOL!  My original one from 1976, is 18" long.  I say "is" because it is still hanging from a hook in my bedroom.  So, technically, I still have it.  More fun to grow a new one though...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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