Rasha Soliman develops her students self-confidence through art
CAIRO: As you enter the underground room at the Gezira Arts Center, you find yourself surrounded by an atmosphere that exudes liveliness, joy and creativity. Children are gathered around painting and sculpturing with their tiny hands, while Rasha Soliman supervises them with care. Soliman, who was always fond of children, decided to work in a nursery after graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts. “The experience was a great success, said Soliman “I developed my experience by reading further about the psychology of children, and how to deal with hearing impaired children and children with autism, she added.
As an art instructor, she works with children from the ages of four until the age of 15, as well as with adults. She teaches drawing, painting, printing, wood carving and sculpturing. Soliman explains that she gives children the basic foundation for all types of artistic expression. As they grow up and develop, they get to choose the type of art which appeals to them.
“I don’t work with talented children as we are all born equal. I work with children, and eventually their talents show later on, explains Soliman.
“I have learned that there is no such thing called “bad painting what’s bad in the eyes of someone can be good in the eyes of another, said Husam Tariq, 11, on of Soliman s students, clearly picking up on Soliman s philosophy. “Everything is subject to improvement as long as we don’t give up on it.
“I don’t want to produce young artists, but I want to build characters that know how to think and have self-confidence, explains Soliman.
Sixteen-year-old twin sisters Hana and Halla Moro affirm her success in that respect. “Soliman taught us to have self confidence in acting, drawing and everything else, they say.
Soliman explained that as much as she teaches children, she learns in return. “I learn from them to be more creative every day. I learn from them how to play and how to have fun, said Soliman. “I still know the feeling of fun the way children do, because children don’t have any social restrictions or think in ‘what will people say?’
When she was asked about the greatest difficulty she faces when dealing with children her reply was None.
“From my long experience with children, I have handled all sorts of challenges successfully, said Soliman, “I only fear a problem that I have never come across.
As a reward for their efforts, Soliman s students participate in exhibitions and competitions on both the national and international level. Such as Egyptian Biennale for Arab Children’s Art in 2002, the Exposition d’Arts des Enfants du Monde Arabe Au Musée in 2004, the International Museum of Children’s Art, and Alexandria International Museum for Children’s Art.
Soliman has also worked with many organizations like Friends of Environment and Development Association (FEDA), UNICEF, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Health & Environmental Development Association, and the American University in Cairo (AUC).