The Amali Mentoring Network was founded and financed by Ms. Rasha Oudeh, a Jordanian businesswoman and the CEO of CEDEM AG in Switzerland, in order to create a concrete impact on women’s lives rather than only raising awareness of the challenges they face in their careers. The mission of Amali is to improve the economic opportunities for women through a mentoring program, which lasts up to one year for each group, by offering support, such as coaching, training, and mentoring.
As the project of Amali – focused on female entrepreneurs – grew and gained momentum, and after the successful completion of the first round of Amali, partially financed by GIZ in Germany, which focused on 14 Jordanian women who have founded a variety of startups, Rasha decided to work on establishing a second round that is focused on female Jordanian artists. This round of Amali aims to give global publicity to those artists in order to shed light on the creativity present in Jordan. Amali for Arts is a collaboration between Rasha Oudeh, Marlene Bergue Corbun, Art Advisor at Family Office Zurich ltd, and Florie-Anne Virgile, a famous film director from the United Kingdom and the founder and director of Myth-to-Measure. In addition to this project, Marlene and Florie-Anne have a project called Life of the Artist for young European artists.
Five Jordanian artists have been chosen to participate in Amali for Arts for a period of one year. At the end of this journey, Rasha Oudeh, Marlene Bergue Corbun, and Florie-Anne Virgile along with her six team members will come to Jordan to film several short films focusing on the artists. At that point, the artists would have completed 8 artworks which will be showcased through the videos that will not only discuss the artists’ background but also highlight the complexities and inspiration behind their artwork.
The Jordanian artists have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds that make them a very unique group. For instance, Hanin Shahin is an art educator with over 12 years of experience in the artistic field, whose approach has developed from academic painting to abstraction. Hanin has also been able to create a color dialogue with the audience in order to communicate emotions as she layers on her canvas.
Furthermore, while both Tina Omran and Natasha Dahdaleh incorporate memories in their art, their approaches are very different. On the one hand, Tina’s work relies on memories of nightmares, objects, people, landscapes and abandoned places. She reflects on her own interpretation of the innocent and the evil using different characters who are connected in terms of their backstories. On the other hand, Natasha’s artwork revolves around memories and objects that remind her of people or incidents. She also highlights, in her work, the beauty of repetition through different objects around her workspace, such as the famous butterfly and the Islamic art patterns that she is known to repeatedly use.
In addition, Hala Twal, who has a background in sculpture, is inspired by women in their natural ways of living, nature, and archeology. She creates her sculptures using different materials, such as clay, wood, stone, cement, and resin. She, in addition, paints using acrylic and mixed media as she also creates digital collage artworks based on photography and texture design.
Finally, Dina Malkawi is inspired by human figures and their surroundings, which she reflects through the use of color and broad play of brush strokes. She primarily works with oil painting and watercolor mediums but also has few works with mixed mediums on metal and paper.
The reason that this project is important and special for Rasha Oudeh is because, during her entrepreneurial path, she did not have access to mentors earlier in her career that could have helped pave her way with less time and effort wasted. Furthermore, art, in itself, is important to highlight because it allows not only the artists but the viewers to feel emotions in the sense that it encompasses feelings and experiences that may or may not be universal. There are many untapped talents in the country Rasha grew up in, Jordan, that she believes deserve more recognition and support.