Iraqi Jamal Saleh Al-Hassan carefully paints a piece of art he made of toothpicks, and smaller pieces of wood, which he skillfully uses to make miniature models of heritage buildings in his city of Mosul (northern Iraq).
Jamal was once a carpenter, but a health problem befell him when he suffered a small stroke and partially lost his hearing. The disease prevented him from his profession, and he did not find anything to support his family after 2004. Read also Witness – It has become a destination for tourists.. An Iraqi family is building a miniature village that includes 3 caves and perpendicular houses Witness – an Iraqi elderly person keeps soap bars, some of which are over 100 years old Watch.. Iraqis turn art into a weapon to support the Palestinians in confronting the occupation Watch.. How Iraqi families collect natural salt to earn their livelihood?
His wife, Afrah Muwaffaq, began working as a seamstress from home to cover the expenses, and the situation continued until Jamal thought a few years ago to paint on wood.
He said – from his workshop that he set up inside his residence, remembering the days when he started painting on wood – that after his illness and loss of hearing, he insisted that he not sit unemployed and began to bring out the talents inside him.
He added that when he was using wood, he found his hands producing beautiful things, and he was surprised by their beauty. He told his wife that he had discovered that he was an artist and a creator and wanted to develop his art and show it to people.
Because he needed care at the time, his wife started working with him on their art project.
The couple now works together to sculpt art pieces, which they then display locally and try to sell in the city and beyond.
Afrah said that her husband, although she supported him during his illness and was trying to raise his spirits, his psychological condition was very bad, and he did not improve until after he started practicing art, which clearly improved his condition until he is now happy in his life.
She added that they were selling each piece for about 50 US dollars, but the prices gradually increased as the couple fixed their feet in the local artistic circles.
Over time, Jamal’s health condition improved, and his wife said that he stopped taking medications, noting the psychological impact of art on his health.
She stressed that she advises everyone – man or woman, young or old – to develop himself, because that brings happiness and psychological comfort.