An empowered life through art
Posted January 16, 2018
Diaverum Middle East sponsored the “Art of Life Gallery” held at the Diaverum Kareemat Dialysis Centre in Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Since people in the Abha region are naturally artistic, it is also natural that the first art gallery for kidney patients was held here.
The exhibit ran from 19 to 23 November 2017, where 70 artworks ranging from calligraphy, illustrations, paintings and photography were on display for public viewing. The artists came from the Ministry of Health’s renal patients, patients’ relatives and Diaverum staff of various ages, not just from Abha but other regions which also shared their creative works.
The event’s guest of honour during the opening was the Saudi legendary artist Abdulnasser Gharem who commented: “I have been to so many galleries in the world, and the Art of Life Gallery truly touched me”. It was really a special event because the artworks express the message of living with meaning and empowerment.
This project is a way for Diaverum to collaborate with the local community and create something inspiring together. It was also a way for patients, family members and staff to bond outside the medical facility. And since it was discovered that art therapy has a positive impact on well-being, then the project became even more essential because we are all aiming at holistic healing.
The young mind of a family member
The project allowed Diaverum to meet Aryam, the 10 year-old daughter of our renal patient Essa Asseri. She has not been able to verbalise her worries but instead used drawings to communicate. As a child, she feared that when her father goes for dialysis he might not come back home, and so Dr. Emad Hassan, Diaverum Medical Director at the Abha clinic, invited her to the centre and showed her how the treatment is not scary at all. This calmed her down and she was relieved to see that her father is being well-cared for.
Exploring beyond dialysis treatment
It is normal that some individuals receiving dialysis may feel uncertain of the future due to their dependence on life-sustaining technology and the expertise of their healthcare provider. Through art we gave our valued patients a feeling of increased sense of empowerment. The project allowed them to focus on a creative pursuit. They have the freedom to express themselves in any art form that pleases them. They are motivated to be social when they speak about their art. The patients felt a sense of fulfilment for a finished piece of art proudly displayed at the centre’s hallway that was creatively transformed into an art gallery. And we have to mention how the arts on display brought a smile to the lips of the admiring public.
The Diaverum team’s mission
Ziyad Kabli, Managing Director for the Middle East region, emphasised: “It is a privilege for Diaverum to provide an avenue for all the artists of all ages to showcase their creative works that symbolise a life being well lived. We’re so honoured that with the trust bestowed on our hands to provide renal care and on top of that we will take every opportunity to create beneficial events like Art of Life Gallery to further improve the quality of life. We hope that the renal patients we care for have experienced increased self-esteem, enhanced self-awareness and achieved insight that would enable them to continue living with renewed optimism.”