Impressions of Dr. Farid Fadel’s exhibition “Warm Hearts of Africa”

Sent On: 
Wed, 2018-01-24
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Monday, January 22nd, I visited Dr. Farid Fadel (Farīd Fāḍil)’s exhibition “Warm Hearts of Africa”. I had never gone to an exhibition with the artist being there himself, so when he invited me I thought I could not miss the opportunity to enjoy art explained by its own creator.


Upon hearing the phrase “Warm Hearts of Africa” the first thing that comes to mind is that Africa is quite a vast area; so, what is the Africa we are talking about?

Egypt is popularly known as “The Heart of the Arab World”, while Malawi is the undisputed “Warm Heart of Africa”. Dr. Fadel, who had visited Malawi at the invitation of the country’s authorities, thought he could bring the two countries together in one exhibition, hence the plural “Warm Hearts of Africa.”




The subjects of his pictures are mostly people, with a few landscapes as well, from the area of Nubia – which stretches along the river Nile from lake Nasser down to Egypt's border with Sudan –  and Malawi. 


Two things impressed me most: Firstly, the fine painting technique of the artist, and in particular the way he employs color. He confessed having been struggling to render the light on the dark skin of the subjects, and showed me the multitude of colors and nuances he had to use to achieve the right effect. He indeed reached what he was looking for. The repertoire of techniques employed is wide, and ranges from different materials such as canvas, water color, oil, and even gold foil, to the way of using the strokes, sometimes even impressionistic, to the place where the painting took place – sometimes on the field, sometimes adding his own imagination in creating the background for his characters.


Secondly, his words about the Nubians deeply touched me. He had the patience to explain in detail their history, how they have been compelled to leave their land. This is the area drowned by Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan Dam. His work is a token of his appreciation for these people: they lost their homeland, their houses and their palms so that Egypt could keep on thriving. In some way, I think I understood that he considers them “martyrs”.



In conclusion, not only has Dr. Fadel been able to create wonderful pieces of art with a wide range of techniques, but he was also able to pass his personal message, feelings and experience that informed his art with such a genuine and deep passion, which showed his kind-heartedness and humbleness. I would definitely recommend this exhibition.


Cairo, January 24, 2018

Niccolò Costantini


About Dr. Farid Fadil (Farīd Fāḍil):

He was born in 1958 In Asyut (Upper Egypt). He was on a young age discovered for his talents and sent by the Egyptian Parliament to Italy. He developed into a Leonardo da Vinci expert and is able to paint in the same style as the great master. Fadel is also an accomplished musician and ophthalmologist. He is highly respected in Egypt, mixes with the rich and famous, and produces bespoke paintings of Egypt’s elite. He has also a very humble, soft spoken, yet articulate personality. He serves the local St. John the Baptist church as a pianist during church service. Dr. Fadel speaks highly of Arab-West Report, and asks for better understanding of the complexities of Egypt, including Muslim-Christian relations. 


About the author:

Niccolò Costantini was born in 1995 in Rome, Italy. He graduated with honors in 2017 with a BA in Modern Languages and Intercultural Mediation from Roma Tre University. His studies focus mainly on Arabic language, linguistics and culture. He volunteered for several months in Hebron/al-Khalīl (Palestinian Occupied Territories) and is currently working as a translation intern at Arab West Report (Maadi, Cairo).