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Style Meets Steel: Fatma Al Shebani Creates a Unique Visual Language through Brilliant Metalworking

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The materials artists employ in their work often carry with them as much meaning as the content of the works themselves. For Fatma Al Shebani, accomplished Qatari artist well known for her use of strong materials such as bronze, resin, iron, and stainless steel, this could not be more true.

The people of Qatar have witnessed transformations in recent decades like few societies  in history have. The social fabric of the country, as well as the urban landscape of its major metropolitan centar, Doha, have experienced dramatic change resulting from the discovery of oil less than a century ago, which pushed the national economy away from a declining pearl trade and set it on track to eventually boast one of the highest standards on living in the world. From its position as a relative backwater situated on the western shores of the Persian Gulf, to a thriving economy growing in the shadows of towering steel skyscrapers, Qatar has been, and in many ways remains, a society in transition.

Doha is a city characterized by its architectural diversity, and yet the broad range of stylistic approaches stand united through common visual elements and motifs that draw from Qatar’s rich national history. The same could be said of Al Shebani’s work, which exhibits a wide breadth of subject matter that nevertheless remains largely tied together through her choice of strong materials and commitment to drawing inspiration from Qatari history and culture. Indeed, through the use of various metals, Al Shebani has succeeded in creating a body of work that compliments the city’s architectural vernacular.

Her use of bronze, iron, and steel imbues a sense of both permanence and strength into her projects. These materials act to bolster the strength of her visual storytelling represented in the pieces themselves. Steel, the technology that first allowed for the development of contemporary urban skylines, carries with it certain notions of modernity in its application to her art. The subjects Al Shebani illustrates in her metal working, however, find inspiration in cultural motifs of times past. Specifically, she draws from her own personal memories to conjure up imagery that reflects traditional Qatari culture, often in forms reminiscent of conventional modes of dress. This idea becomes apparent in the many iterations of her ‘Bokhnaq’ and ‘Batoula’ series. In conjunction with one another, her choice of subject and material work to bring the lessons of the past forward into an ever modernizing, ever changing cultural context.

Like many of the architects who have aimed to preserve Qatar’s history in their construction of buildings that in many ways must, by virtue of their purpose and scale, break with tradition, Al Shebani often elects to immortalize elements of Doha’s surrounding marine and land environments in her work, casting them in beautiful relief. This is perhaps most clearly seen in Al Adiyat 9, which depicts horses, an important feature of Qatari history, in stunning motion, as well as her reliefs illustrating the sacred marine life of Qatar’s offshore reefs.

Doha has become, in many ways, a city of steel clinging purposefully to its roots. Architects have devised a myriad of creative tactics to embrace change while still acting to preserve traditional Qatari values and style. Al Shebani’s work then functions as the perfect compliment to the city’s dynamic urban landscape. She has expertly managed to marry the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, to establish a visual language that reflects this culturally rich nation’s ever changing ethos.

For more information about Fatma Al Shebani and her work, visit: https://www.fatmaalshebani.com/ 

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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Lifestyle

Wisdom and Youthful Energy Combined: Tax Attorney Lance R. Drury

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Research done by The American Psychological Association indicates that the average person starts feeling old at the age of 47. This was the most cited age in a survey of 2,000 Americans over 40, with respondents also noting that they begin to worry about age-related bodily changes around the age of 50. Concerns about mental decline and memory loss are prevalent, with a significant percentage of participants expressing fears about their cognitive health deteriorating as they age. Interestingly, fewer people are concerned about losing their youthful looks compared to worries about mental sharpness and staying socially connected.

But at the young age of 70, Tax Attorney at Law Lance R. Drury embodies the belief that age is just a number — not a measure of one’s capabilities. With a career spanning several decades, the spunky lawyer continues to defy societal expectations, showcasing that one can maintain both wisdom and youthful energy well into their later years. Drury’s happy-go-lucky, quick-witted personality offers a refreshing perspective in a world where age often dictates one’s pursuits and achievements.

Lance R. Drury is the founder of the Law Office of Lance R. Drury, a firm renowned for its exceptional tax resolution services. With over 35 years of legal experience, his practice specializes in tax planning, litigation of tax disputes, and negotiation of settlements with tax authorities. Drury’s personalized approach to each case ensures that clients receive strategies tailored to their unique situations.

His offices are located in Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis in Missouri, Nashville in Tennessee, and most recently, San Antonio in Texas. Drury’s practice emphasizes understanding clients’ specific needs and navigating the complexities of tax law to provide clear, actionable solutions. Through his dedicated work, he built a longstanding reputation for his legal acumen and commitment to upholding the highest standards of the legal profession, ensuring that each client receives attentive and effective representation.

We sat down with Drury to discuss his perspective on age and how it influences his dynamic approach to life and work.

All In Your Head

Drury’s response to the question of retirement was profound.

“People often suggest I should retire,” he shared. “But staying active keeps my mind sharp and my spirit youthful.”

His days are filled with interactions that span generations, which he believes keep his mind young and engaged.

“Age is just a sequence of numbers that has no bearing on what you can achieve. The only limits are the ones you set for yourself,” Drury emphasized.

Maintaining Purpose and Connection

Drury highlighted the importance of maintaining a sense of purpose. While retirement for some means relaxation and leisure, for Drury, it’s about continual engagement and growth.

“You don’t retire from life; you move towards new opportunities,” Drury pointed out. “It’s essential to keep forging connections and pursuing goals that keep you connected to the world around you.”

He actively engages with people daily, from colleagues to younger individuals, enriching his social life and broadening his perspectives. This engagement, he noted, is key to feeling connected and vibrant.

The Psychological and Social Benefits of Staying Active

Staying engaged in work and social activities has profound effects on mental health. Drury observed that his professional engagements keep his mind sharp and give him a sense of purpose every day. This routine, he suggested, can benefit everyone, regardless of age. The social interactions that come with staying active help prevent the loneliness and isolation often associated with aging.

“Staying active is crucial for keeping your mind sharp and your spirit engaged,” Drury noted.

A Rebellious Stance on Aging

Drury’s approach is rebellious. Especially in the field of law, defying societal expectations that dictate slowing down with age is unexpected. He finds liberation in continuing his work and enjoying life on his terms. This rebellious stance is about acknowledging the aging process while embracing it with vigor and a clear sense of purpose.

“Rejecting the typical narrative of aging doesn’t mean denying the process of growing older. It means embracing it with enthusiasm and a resolve to live fully every day,” Drury passionately shared. “I encourage others to live joyfully and defiantly, irrespective of age.”

Drury’s narrative is a powerful reminder that age should not limit our dreams or capabilities. Whether it’s continuing a career, engaging with diverse social groups, or simply finding new reasons to enjoy each day, his life exemplifies the power of living without age boundaries. Drury’s advice encourages us to look beyond societal expectations and craft a life filled with engagement, purpose, and connection, no matter how many years we have lived.

In a world that often equates aging with decline, Lance R. Drury stands out as a beacon of enduring vitality and purpose, inspiring all of us to rethink what it means to grow older!

About The Law Office of Lance R. Drury

The Law Office of Lance R. Drury, founded in 2006, has been a leading legal practice in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, San Antonio, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee specializing in tax law matters. With over 35 years of experience, Lance is a nationally-recognized tax resolution attorney providing innovative solutions to IRS tax dilemmas with a team that is dedicated to providing clients personalized and effective solutions for tax planning, dispute litigation, and tax resolutions. For more information, please visit https://www.lancedrurylaw.com/ 

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