Chicago IL, March 23: A globally known Egg Artist, Farha Sayeed, wife of Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, held her first solo Egg Art exhibition in Chicago, “The Easter Eggstravaganza”, at the prestigious Chicago Symphony Center in Chicago, Illinois from March 20-21, 2016.
A part of the sale proceeds of the Exhibition will go to the America-India Foundation’s Maternal and New Born Survival Initiative (MANSI). The event attracted hundreds of art lovers, state officials, and diplomats from several countries.
Farha exhibited seventy Egg Art pieces during the exhibition comprising creations made out of egg shells of Ostrich, Rhea, Emu, Goose, Duck, Turkey and Guinea. All these pieces were intricately hand-carved in minute detail and embellished with crystals, rhinestone chains, and golden filigree. These creations not only captured the imagination of the visitors but also left them awe-struck.
Over three hundred persons participated in the inaugural ceremony held on Sunday, March 20th, 2016 and dozens of others visited the exhibition during the rest of the day. Renowned tabla maestro Padma Bhushan Ustad Zakir Hussain was one of the internationally renowned persons who graced the event. He praised Farha for the precision and ingenuity demonstrated in her creations.
The other prominent dignitaries who participated in the event included Mr. Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, Office of Governor Bruce Rauner, State of Illinois; Mr Dennis Jung, Outreach Coordinator, Office of Governor Bruce Rauner; Ms. Nettie Lasko, Immigrant Assistance Program Coordinator, Office of the Attorney General; Ms. Emily Berman, Deputy Director, Office of the Mayor; Ms. Patricia Maza-Pittsford, Dean of the Chicago Consular Corps, Dr Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor of Oak Brook; Hon’ble judges Anthony Simpkins and Divya Sarang, Seann Nelipinath, President of the India Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Paula Garrett Ellis, President of Now Art India; Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressional candidate for Chicago’s 8thDistrict, Mr. Zain Raj, President & CEO of Shapiroraj and Mrs. Lubaina Raj. Mr. Vimal & Bulbul Bahuguna, Board Members of the American India Foundation, and Consul General’s mother Mrs Kaneez Fatima. Consuls General of Germany, Sweden, South Africa, Philippines, Pakistan, Lithuania, Serbia and several other countries also participated in the event.
During her remarks Farha Sayeed mentioned that she got exposed to Egg Art seventeen years ago while she was in Qatar. “The fragility of an eggshell appealed to me as a unique medium to test my creativity”, she said, adding “I can switch over easily from painting to carving to calligraphy to etching on the egg shell and the scope seems to be unlimited.” Farha mentioned that over the years she had attempted introducing Indian motifs and calligraphy into her art.
Mr. Zain Raj outlined the activities of the American India Foundation with particular reference to the Maternal & Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI) and thanked Farha for supporting this noble cause.
Consul General of India Dr. Ausaf Sayeed said that while art is important in its own right, it assumes social significance when it is used as a vehicle to find enduring solutions to the problems faced by the people, particularly women and children. He outlined the Consulate’s support to various socio-cultural activities undertaken by the American-Indian Diaspora in Chicagoland.
While all the egg art exhibits were widely appreciated by the visitors, “Eggstravaganza” and “Nirvana”, the lead pieces of the exhibition and a combination of the egg shells of Ostrich, Rhea, and Goose eggs, along with “Apostles of Peace”, a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa on an Emu egg shell, drew particular admiration.
Earlier, Farha has hosted her solo exhibitions titled “EGGSPERIENCE” in Copenhagen, “EGGCELLENCE” in Jeddah, “EGGXOTICA” in New Delhi, and “EGGSPRESSIONS” in Sana’a. She had also participated in the Dallas Egg Show 2015 along with other international egg artists.
Farha, a member of the international Egg Artists Guild, is considered a pioneer in promoting egg art in India.
Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:
I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”
Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.
Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”
Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?