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‘I feel like it’s misunderstood by those outside the religion’: Designer capturing the beauty of Ramadan through art

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This month Muslims throughout the capital are observing Ramadan, the most sacred interval on the Islamic calendar – Ramadan is is the fourth pillar of Islam and is noticed by fasting from daybreak to nightfall and prayer.

In London alone there are over a million working towards Muslims, however that solely accounts for a small fraction of the religions’ estimated 1.8 billion followers – with every nation observing the holy month in their very own distinctive and great method.

London-based digital designer Natasha Ahmed is shining a light-weight on the other ways Ramadan is noticed by Muslims throughout the world.

The drawing shows a beautiful Somali woman with a dark stain of a henna design as she
shows off her hand.

Henna Decorations in Somalia – throughout the month of Ramadan so much of girls in Somalia will adorn their fingers with lovely henna patterns.

The 24-year-old has constructed up a status on Instagram for her eye-catching color palette and distinctive mix of common tradition and present trend traits, however this undertaking was “particular”.

“I’m a proud British Muslim and the alternative to align my ardour and my religion was at all times one which I used to be going to seize with each fingers.

She added: “Ramadan is such a joyous time of 12 months and I feel like it’s typically misunderstood by those outside of the faith. I hope that I can present individuals its beauty through my art.”

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Natasha who’s of Muslim religion and Bangladeshi descent was raised in the full of life, multi-cultural metropolis of Leicester. The designer spent most of her life there up till the age of 18 when she moved to London to check Digital Design at Brunel University.

Natasha illustrated 4 of the photos that accompany WorldRemit’s Ramadan marketing campaign, with art that includes the likes of Morocco, Somalia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. The different nations that function in WorldRemit’s marketing campaign are Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon.

“It was a studying expertise for me too,” she admitted.

Chawkbazar in Bangladesh – The Chawkbazar is a big bazaar in Dhaka the place Bangladeshis flock to throughout the month of Ramadan to interrupt their quick. It is a avenue of distributors promoting an enormous selection of avenue meals from common Bangladeshi fish dishes to extra Mughal period cuisines.

“Being Bangladeshi, I’ve spent my total life seeing Ramadan and Iftar [the evening meal eaten to break fast] through that particular expertise.”

“There is so much of overlap between us and our fellow South Asian nations, like India and Pakistan so I used to be already pretty conversant in their practices”

“However, I additionally thought that it was vital to guarantee that Black and African Muslims had been represented in my art. I did so much of analysis on nations like Somalia and Morocco and gained a lot perception into their traditions.

“Whilst there are some constants all through Ramadan globally, there are additionally so much of variations as a result of the affect and merging of cultures. Every Ramadan celebration is completely different.”

The illustration shows the Neffar who blows his horn as this gently calls the people of Morocco to Sehri. They usually wear a Gandora which is a traditional robe and a Taqiyah which is the cap. I also made sure to use warm, jewel tones in the colour palette of the drawing as it shows the vibrance of Morocco's buildings and architecture

The Ritual of the Neffar in Morocco – to announce the name for Sehri in the early hours, there’s a ritual of the city crier referred to as the Neffar to wake individuals as much as eat in order that they’re prepared for his or her day of fasting.

Like many different cash transferring organisations, World Remit is used as a way of sending cash to family members in different nations who’re in want of monetary assist.

A spokesperson for World Remit stated: “As a world organisation, WorldRemit has at all times had a deep reference to the Muslim neighborhood, from our various workers with whom we work every day, to prospects round the world who use our providers to make quick and protected worldwide funds.

“It’s superb to study the completely different Ramadan traditions practiced by Muslims round the world. These items of art illustrate them superbly, actually capturing what it means to everybody working towards Islam.”

Chaand Raat (Night of the Moon) in Pakistan - The night before Eid-al-Fitr is one filled with excitement and laughter. With families and
friends gathering and looking out for a new moon which indicates that it is the eve of Eid people gather to exchange gifts, put up decorations and celebrate in the streets. The community exchanges a Chaand Raat Mubarak (Have a blessed night of the new moon) or Eid Mubarak (Blessings of the Eid day) between their loved ones and everyone in the community. Women also decorate their hands which henna which is what I chose to showcase in the illustration. The women are laughing and enjoying each other's company as the new moon is sighted.

Chaand Raat – Pakistan and India. Translated to ‘Night of the Moon’, Chaand Raat is an evening of celebration that signifies the finish of Ramadan with the first sighting of the new moon. A vibrant custom in South Asian nations together with Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, Chaand Raat celebrates the starting of the new month and the pageant of Eid al-Fitr.

Natasha’s ardour for designing was evident from an early age, but it surely was nearly one thing that she didn’t find yourself pursuing as a result of of uncertainty about how her mother and father would react. Fortunately for the younger designer her mother and father had been absolutely on board with serving to nurturing her expertise.

“I nearly ended up finding out English as a result of I assumed it was what my mother and father would need, however they knew that it wasn’t what I had my coronary heart set on and inspired me to check digital design.

Over the course of 4 years, Natasha honed her expertise and made the transition from hand-drawn items to digital art. She at the moment makes use of a mixture of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Procreate on her iPad to create her art.

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Since graduating from college, Natasha has amassed a formidable following of practically 40k on Instagram and balanced freelancing with a profitable profession as a Digital Designer.

“I’m so grateful for the quantity of assist that I obtained for doing one thing that I really like. For me it’s by no means been about the quantity, however the impression. I simply wish to attain as many individuals as doable with my work and hopefully encourage them to specific their very own creativity.”

“However, social media has additionally afforded me superb alternatives like this the place I can showcase my religion and persona, it’s not one thing that I take with no consideration in the slightest.”

Whilst Leicester born designer has at all times injected her persona in her art, she believes that her newest assortment will likely be vital for causes past its artistic shading and texture.

“Islam is commonly not represented in the finest method in the media and I believe so much of that stems from not having sufficient voices from our neighborhood in positions to assist right some of these misconceptions.

“We are all human, individuals are flawed, however Islam isn’t.”

“No matter what nation you go to, Ramadan is a time of unity, it’s about embracing each other, being at peace and festivity.”

She added: “Things have modified so much since I used to be youthful and other people in the UK have change into much more educated on what Ramadan means to our neighborhood. Religious holidays like Christmas have at all times been a component of our custom and now Diwali and Ramadan are being celebrated in the identical method, it’s means every part to feel included.”

London-based digital designer Natasha Ahmed has teamed up with international cost firm WorldRemit, to shine a light-weight on the other ways Ramadan is noticed by Muslims throughout the world.