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Representing Transition: Fatma Al Shebani Bridges Tradition and Modernity Through Her Art




Few countries have undergone such rapid and dramatic transformation in such a short period of time as Qatar, a former British territory that, in just a few decades, developed from an overlooked backwater situated on the Persian Gulf to the wealthiest country in the world per capita. Likewise, few artists have captured the essence of this metamorphosis, both in its celebration of change and its retention of tradition, as masterfully as Fatma Al Shebani.

Al Shebani’s career took off after the artist decided to leave teaching for good in 2007. An untimely divorce granted her the opportunity to explore her own future in ways previously unconsidered. In 1994, Al Shebani received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Qatar University and quickly established her unique voice, developing a style that bridges time itself to reflect the ethos of a society in transition.

Al Shebani’s preferred mediums include resin, bronze, and stainless steel; strong materials that mirror the internal strength of the many powerful women in her life. As a child, she would often visit the metal and concrete factory her father owned and managed, forming, from a young age, a special relationship with these various elements. Through them, Al Shebani brings wondrous visions and dreams to life. Generally, her work seeks to crystalize memories of the past and its traditions in a style that reflects the contemporary realities of Qatari life.

The concept of clothing as a lens through which one experiences culture re-emerges time and time again through her portfolio. In her ‘Bokhnaq’ series, Al Shebani reimagines the traditional garb of young girls to create statues that capture the essence of childhood, reinforcing this idea by positioning the figures in settings that add to the sense of freedom, play, and child-like joy inherent in the pieces. Her ‘Batoula’ sculptures transplant intimate memories from childhood into the present, specifically when Al Shebani would peek under the batoula of her mother or grandmother to look and touch their faces and connect with a part of their identities reserved only for those closest to them. 

Together, the two series paint a visceral portrait of traditional imaginings of Qatari womanhood: the cultural dress of women both before and after marriage; outward expressions of identity as one transitions from youth into adulthood. In this sense, Al Shebani’s work acts to preserve memory. She succeeds in reimagining tradition in a form that reflects the contemporary reality of Doha’s shimmering skyline of towering steel skyscrapers; in a form more palatable to audiences of the 21st century.

Other works draw direct inspiration from interpretations of Qatari nationhood. Al Adiyat 9 reproduces the words of the Quran’s surah Al Adiyat in the form of sculpture, while simultaneously illustrating the experience of Qatar as a nation racing quickly into its own notions of modernity. Commissioned to honor the drafting of the country’s 2004 constitution. Al Adiyat 9 serves as a powerful testament to the speed of Qatar’s development, the proud history her people have managed to bring into the present, as well as the boundless opportunities that still lie ahead.

Born into a generation destined to bridge the gap between tradition and modernity, Al Shebani has emerged as one of the most prolific Qatari artists of the past 20 years. She has solidified her role as a sort of ‘voice of the nation’, offering the people of Qatar, through her art, a powerful narrative that reflects both the challenges and promises of prosperity that have come to characterize the country’s collective experience of the past 50 years.

To learn more about Fatma Al Shebani and her work, reach out on social media.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Hardwood Floors Refinishing: Top Care Tips for a Lasting Shine




Revamping your hardwood floors requires both a time and financial investment, yet the returns are evident in the enhanced aesthetics and functionality of your residential or commercial area. However, the longevity and durability of these newly refinished floors are contingent upon proper maintenance. This detailed guide is designed to offer expert guidance on how to preserve the quality and look of your newly refinished hardwood floors. We’ll cover a variety of subjects, from the science of wood aging and types of wood that need more frequent treatment, to top tips for floor upkeep. Your investment in hardwood floor refinishing need not be short-lived; with the correct care, it can be a long-term enhancement to your property.

Tips for Ensuring Durability in Your Newly Refinished Floors

After you have spent money on hardwood floor refinishing, maintaining their condition becomes a top priority. Here are strategies to prolong the lifespan and appearance of your updated flooring.

1. Regular Cleaning

A clean floor is a happy floor. Use a microfiber mop or cloth to pick up dust, dirt, and grime daily if possible. For a deeper clean, opt for cleaning products specifically designed for hardwood floors. Make sure to read the labels and opt for pH-neutral cleaners that are free from abrasives or harsh chemicals. Weekly or bi-weekly, consider a gentle vacuuming with a hardwood-friendly vacuum cleaner to remove debris that may have settled between the wood planks.

2. Use Protective Pads

One of the most effective ways to prevent scratches and dents on your hardwood floors is to place felt pads under the legs of furniture. This simple step can go a long way in preserving the smooth finish of your floor. You should also replace these pads every few months, as they can wear down or accumulate grime, reducing their effectiveness.

3. Control Humidity

Fluctuating indoor humidity levels can wreak havoc on hardwood floors. Excessive moisture can cause the wood to swell, leading to issues like cupping or buckling, while too little moisture can cause wood to shrink, leading to gaps between planks. Invest in a quality hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity level, and aim to keep it between 30% and 50%. Use a humidifier during dry months and a dehumidifier during humid months to maintain optimal conditions.

4. Proper Spill Management

Accidents are inevitable, but the way you handle them can make all the difference. Whether it’s water, juice, or wine, if you spill liquid on your hardwood floor, wipe it up immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid using paper towels as they can disintegrate and get stuck in the crevices of the wood. Also, never let liquids sit on the wood, as they can seep in and cause staining or warping.

5. No Shoes Policy

Implement a ‘no shoes’ policy to preserve your floors. Shoes can bring in dirt, gravel, and other harmful debris from outside. If a full-blown ‘no shoes’ policy isn’t realistic for your household, at least insist on no high heels or sports cleats, which can cause dents and scratches. You might also consider placing a high-quality doormat at entrances to trap dirt before it gets to your floor.

6. Regular Inspections

Every three to six months, set aside time to inspect your hardwood floors meticulously. Use natural light or a bright lamp to look for scratches, dents, or areas where the finish might be wearing off. If you catch these issues early, you may be able to address them with a simple touch-up rather than a full refinishing job.

7. Refresher Coats

Although your newly refinished floors look amazing now, they won’t stay that way forever without some upkeep. Consider applying a ‘refresher’ coat of finish every two to three years. This isn’t as invasive or time-consuming as a full refinishing project. Instead, it’s more like a topcoat that adds an extra layer of protection, keeping your floors looking vibrant and shiny.

8. Scheduled Expert Cleaning

A yearly cleaning session by professionals can dramatically enhance the condition of your hardwood floors. Specialized machinery and products are used to eliminate tough dirt, renew the wood’s natural shine, and smooth out minor imperfections. This process not only rejuvenates your flooring but also prolongs its lifespan, maintaining its fresh appearance for an extended time.

Advantages of Consistent Upkeep

Routine care for your restored hardwood floors does more than maintain their visual appeal; it also prolongs their durability, augmenting the long-term value of your property. Floors that are regularly cared for can endure for many years, negating the need for frequent, costly refinishing. In addition, a structured care regimen lessens the likelihood that small defects will escalate into serious issues, thus promoting a cleaner and more healthful living area. In summary, regular maintenance serves as a long-term financial benefit and a means of sustaining your home’s elegance.

When To Seek Professional Help

If you notice persistent issues like deep scratches, stubborn stains, or any form of water damage, it’s best to seek professional help. Specialists in hardwood floors refinishing can assess the situation and provide targeted solutions. Companies like 1DayRefinishing offer an extensive range of services that can effectively address these problems. Notably, the company specializes in a one-day turnaround, making them a convenient option for those in need of quick yet high-quality refinishing solutions.

Finding Trustworthy Services for Floor Refinishing

If you’re in a location with scarce local options, consider exploring 1 DAY Refinishing. Their seasoned experts offer complete solutions for maintaining and refinishing hardwood floors, helping to keep them pristine for the long haul.

Final Thoughts

The decision to invest in refinishing your hardwood floors is a significant commitment to enhancing your home’s aesthetics and overall value. By diligently following proper maintenance routines, your refinished floors can continue to elevate your home’s ambience. Every effort, from regular cleaning, to hiring professionals, adds to the resilience and visual allure of your hardwood floors. Stick to these essential care guidelines, and your floors will maintain their lustre for an extended period.

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