Make a wish while at the Old Jeddah Festival

Saudi artist Fatima Baazeem showcased her “Stick Wishes” collection at a Jeddah festival

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Fatima Baazeem is an artist who often showcases her work at exhibitions in Jeddah. She recently participated in an exhibition entitled “Stick Wishes” at the recently held festival in the downtown area of Jeddah last month.

Baazeem’s work was showcased at an exhibition—titled Stick Wishes—held at Matbouli’s House in the Balad area of the city.

“Sticks are used for lots of purposes and one of them, in my opinion, is for making a wish. For this exhibition, I used several kinds of sticks.

“I chose ceramic sticks in particular as they are part of the Hijazi culture,” said Baazeem, adding that everyone has a dream and that these dreams could materialize if people were to write them down.

“There is a story behind wish sticks. There was a poet who had a walking stick. He was unemployed and people in his city used to go to the city’s governor and wait hours to meet him and ask their need.

One day, the poet wrote his wish on his stick and then delivered it to the governor with a friend. The poet got what he wanted without having to wait like other people.

As a result, people became jealous,” said Baazeem. This was the second time that Baazeem participated in the festival. Last year, she exhibited her work—entitled Tea Painting—at the Naseef House.

Her exhibition this year includes almost 200 ceramic sticks; she has around 1,000 sticks, but is unable to showcase them all because of constraints in space.

Baazeem loves old Saudi history and traditions, and hopes old Jeddah will grab the attention of the world. “I wish the Balad area could become a treasure for the future generations to inherit.

It is true that we did not live in the old days, but we have now grown to learn more about their traditions and culture,” she said.

“For example, in the past you would know whether there is a wedding or a funeral simply from the smell of the incense that was being burned. This tradition no longer exists,” she added.