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May 17 2022 11:59 PM ˚
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Art that ‘makes us human’, helps one find oneself

Creating Mandalas on a flute
For Salwaak, life is a mixture of feelings, textures, and shades. (Photos: Handouts from Salwaak)
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Jordanian artist Salwa Abdel-Khaliq, who prefers to be called Salwaak, is the founder of MandalasJo, where, together with her business partner Rawan Mohammed, they make original handcrafted designs, specially customized, on shoes. اضافة اعلان


For Salwaak, life is a mixture of feelings, textures, and shades. (Photos: Handouts from Salwaak)

One of the biggest driving forces in the life of this artist is “helping others”, she told Jordan News.

She began her career as a visual designer. “I started working in the design field in Jordan, but I felt lost, I had an identity crisis, and I needed to find answers,” she said.

“I did not know why I existed? Especially in Jordan. I was looking for something that would make me less angry, less anxious, and more serene. I found a site in Amman called Jordan Thai Center and I started doing meditation with them,” she said.


For Salwaak, life is a mixture of feelings, textures, and shades. (Photos: Handouts from Salwaak)

Abdel-Khaliq found calmness of mind through meditation, which she began practicing in 2013, but also through the craftwork of mandalas.

“I had heard that making mandalas helps you heal, and that was something my soul needed, so I was painting mandalas, and a friend told me to go into business with this,” she said.


For Salwaak, life is a mixture of feelings, textures, and shades. (Photos: Handouts from Salwaak)

“People were asking for mandalas to be made for them, but refused to pay the right price for the art, so it became an unprofitable business,” said Abdel-Khaliq, adding that “that did not lessen our desire to keep creating. We love mandalas, so in 2019 we decided to turn MandalasJo into a space dedicated to art, a space to teach art.” 


For Salwaak, life is a mixture of feelings, textures, and shades. (Photos: Handouts from Salwaak)

While discovering her passion for mandalas and meditation, a unique opportunity arose in the artist’s life. She was selected, the only one from Jordan, to be part of the World Peace Initiative Foundation’s program in Thailand, which brought together 30 artists from all over the world.

“It was a two-week retreat on the island of Koh Yao Noi. We were disconnected from the outside world to learn to connect with our art, which arises from the deepest emotions. I discovered life as it used to be,” said the artist who stressed that she needs “to know who I am” and in the process of discovery, “I want to do something for this planet. I want my name to be remembered.”


For Salwaak, life is a mixture of feelings, textures, and shades. (Photos: Handouts from Salwaak)

Accepting existence as it is, is one of the greatest achievements gained from meditation, which guided her on a path where she learned to let go and let be.
Times of crisis may also be times of opportunity, and so it was for the artist who, during the pandemic, decided to become a mindfulness and meditation trainer. She began the “Balancing the mind with meditation and art” course online in 2020.


For Salwaak, life is a mixture of feelings, textures, and shades. (Photos: Handouts from Salwaak)

“They were free courses. I wanted to help people who were going through a crisis in such turbulent times,” she said.

For Abdel-Khaliq, “helping others is a way of helping myself, and through art and therapy, I have begun to know myself”.

Life may have changed a lot in terms of technology, but the need for art, which “makes us human and makes it possible for us to feel and connect” will always be there.

“What do I hope for in life?” Abdel-Khaliq asked.

“That people become more human. I hope I can help people to go deeper into their inner world by creating art. I want to look at the world and find people who are free, who accept differences, who love, and who love life”.

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