Muslim Artist On 'Fighting, Achieving And Growing' In Saudi Arabia

Illustrator Sarah Taibah shares reflections on her work and Eid al-Fitr from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

HuffPost Religion highlighted the voices of Muslim artists this Ramadan. Every Friday of the holy month, we featured artwork and reflections from artists around the world on our Instagram account. You can follow along at @HuffPostRelig.

Over the past month, The Huffington Post has heard from Muslim artists around the world about what inspires them and what it’s like to create art during a time of Islamophobia. For the last installment of our series, we turned to Sarah Taibah, an artist from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

Sarah Taibah is an artist who currently lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Sarah Taibah is an artist who currently lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Taibah is the founder of Rasma & Kilma, an illustration and design company that creates artwork for books and stationary. She also experiments with portraits and photography.

Taibah told The Huffington Post that she enjoys sharing insights into her creative process with young artists, something she does often on her Instagram account, @rasma.kilma.

“What I love about the process is exactly what I love about each journey,” she wrote in an email to HuffPost. “So much happens before you reach any destination.”

After getting a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from a Saudi Arabian university, Taibah traveled to San Francisco, California, to study illustration and printmaking. For Taibah, the move provoked questions about identity and belonging.

In “Let Me Grow Naturally,” a short film she helped to write and produce, Taibah describes some of those struggles.

“It all started when I felt different than the majority in Saudi Arabia. I thought leaving is the solution, yet I did not find myself in the States. Later I figured that I carry home with me,” Taibah writes on her website. “I am not myself - back there or here. I don’t fit in either place. Finally, I wish to build and embrace a new space... a third space where all the misfits fit perfectly.”

When asked what she wished more people knew about women in Saudi Arabia, the artist told HuffPost, “That we are just like all the women all around the world. Fighting, achieving and growing.”

Scroll down to read more about this artist’s life and work, and her reflections on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

”Eid means family. As far as I can remember, I’ve spent every Eid with my parents and all the extended family except for one: Eid 2014. I spent it with my big brother, Yasser Taibah, in San Francisco. Muslims from all around San Francisco came to a biq mosque. The diversity during Eid prayer was beautiful, it made it much more spiritual than all my previous experiences with Eid. My brother and I bonded like we never did before. It was simple and it was my best Eid ever.” -@rasma.kilma

"This piece reflects my everyday struggle, where I am conscious about the two different sides of my personality that are very different... I continuously learn new ways to get to my inner peace and the more I accept the truth the more it’s easier to live with it.” -@rasma.kilma

”This piece calls for making peace between myself and I, and between you and I. We’ve always perceived the term ‘duality’ from a negative prism... [But it’s actually] an invitation for peace among the different faces within one’s self and the faces of other people, for we are the same despite our differences.” - @rasma.kilma

”What I try to always achieve is this balance between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide. As an artist, I put so much emotions in an artwork then so much effort to share these emotions. Each piece feels like a ripped paper of my diary that I decide to share with public. Honesty is the key to getting closer to the viewer... People feel good when they can relate and I like to make people feel good.” - @rasma.kilma

Check out the slideshow below to see more artists from HuffPost Religion’s Ramadan Instagram takeover. 



Muslim Artists Ramadan Series