Her Highness Sheikha Khawla bint Ahmed Khalifa Al Suwaidi
Khawla Bint Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Suwaidi, wife of H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s National Security Advisor, was born in Abu Dhabi and grew up in a cultured, well-educated house. Her father had a profound impact on her education which contributed significantly to establishing and shaping her knowledge and culture. Her brother, the poet, the scholar, the man of letters and the astrologist, His Excellency Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Khalifa AL Suwaidi, was the one who substantially influenced her literary work and her ways of thinking by embellishing her with literature and knowledge along the way. Her Highness considers her brother, and regards him as the godfather of her intellectual journey, and he is the guidance and support from whom she always gained sound direction and wisdom. As a child, she will never forget how he would sit with her and ask: “What book are you reading?” He always made sure to enquire, and he always directed her and advised her to read appropriate books and literature, and that is the method he used to hone and develop her talents.
Her Highness reconfirms by saying: “My beloved brother, Mohammed bin Ahmed AL Suwaidi, so often, used to save my time by selecting and recommending a book for me to read; a book that is enriching and worth reading.
Her H.H. completed her higher education at the Higher Colleges of Technology where she earned a B.A.(HONS) in Business Administration with distinction, and graduated top of her class. Her ambition did not stop there, and she sketched her own intellectual and learning path, and gained diplomas in several fields from the United States of America, and specialized in Photography, Interior Design, Physical Education and Nutrition and Classical Art. Furthermore, she later studied different fields of music and specialized in stringed musical instruments. Her growing desire led her to explore in depth, the art of Arabic Calligraphy, and its rich, glamorous world. She was taught the Andalusi Jali script under the renowned calligrapher, Master Mohammed Mandi, and because of him, she grew fonder and more appreciative of this script, from where she later derived her own unique script, which she uses when writing her thoughts, poems, and quotes.
Since she was a child, H.H. was fond of reading and this passion led her to write poetry. She is a national Poet, and a woman of letters who has written social, historical, and scientific articles. She has also released her own collection of poems and reflections, “Jinan”, which she started assembling at a young age.
Her newly unique school in Andalusian Arabic calligraphy, which H.H. developed and added new techniques to it that embrace her philosophy and intellect. Developing and creating an idea takes a long journey that begins with making handmade, glazed paper which is considered a piece of art on its own, and then comes the preparation and the mixing of ink, and fusing it with silk threads.
The harmonious, enchanting music is in sync with the creation of the piece of art that might take years or few hours to complete. Its an idea, a proverb, a feeling or poetry that touches your inner soul, and the letters melt between the lines, to compose a sensual, immortal epic. Birds and flowers decorate and adorn the script, and finally it is given a beautiful, classical frame which carries the date and the signature of the master calligrapher. At the end of this lengthy journey, which could last for over a year, the piece of art is finally complete. It is a complicated and lengthy process which produces and highlights a unique and distinctive art, that flaunts amongst other arts.
Khawla Art and Cultural Foundation
Khawla Art and Cultural Foundation was established in 2020, aiming and seeking to promote artwork, and nurturing those who are gifted and talented. In particular, the Foundation specializes in the art of Arabic calligraphy as well as the art of ornamentation. On the other hand, the Foundation aims to develop and hone classical art, and photography, and later, to focus on Arabic language and literature, and Arabic Poetry and avail ways to integrate them with the art of Arabic calligraphy.
Khawla’s Cultural Majlis
A Majlis that was established in 2008, led by Her Highness Sheikha Khawla bint Ahmed Bin Khlaifa Al Suwaidi. The idea behind the establishment of this Majlis symbolizes how a small idea grows and branches out into a bigger concept and purpose. Its participants represent and come from vastly different backgrounds and experiences, and they discuss and consider various interesting and unique topics, and issues. The way the topics are then handled and debated is distinctive, as each member addresses the topic from her own point of view and without any religious or political interference. Nearly a hundred topics have been discussed in the Majlis already, topics from which progressive ideas and thoughts have emerged and developed.
Her Highness, Sheikha Khawla’s, first exhibition was held in The Emirates Palace in 2016, during the Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament, where H.H. presented her seven paintings featuring the seven Emirates. In addition, her 20 pieces of artwork were exhibited at London’s Saatchi Gallery in 2017, and which were a huge success. Her H.H. art collection doubled the number of visitors to Saatchi Gallery and received a massive success according to the Gallery’s statics and findings. Furthermore, H.H. participated in Um Al Emarat exhibition more than once where she received great appreciation and a positive response from visitors and specialists interested in this field.