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Noof Al-Naama

Interior Design, Co-Valedictorian and Class Champion

Interview

April 2022

It isn’t the final product, but the process that defines us.

Tell us about your journey to VCUarts Qatar.
Art runs in our family and the dream of being an art student started at a young age. My grandfather was a fine-artist, my mother studied art, my aunt studied art. So it was, you could say, genetic.

My journey started long before I came to VCUQ. I was just a child when I picked up a pencil and paper and started sketching, and I’ve been taking VCU community courses since Middle School.

I decided to attend VCUQ because it made sense. My grandfather studied art in Iraq back in his time, because it wasn’t available in Qatar. So, I believe If the opportunity already exists here in Qatar, why should I leave the country to fulfill what I want to do?

I came into VCUQ knowing that I wanted to do interior design. Interior design is a mixture of most of the arts. You do graphic design for the poster making, you do painting through the sketches that will be applied to the poster, so it’s a multi-media major that allows me to explore. Choosing interior design allowed me to select a path to follow and it allowed me to find a passion. There’s a strong correlation between finding a passion and work, for a fulfilling life. If you do what you love then you achieve more. My grandfather passed away in 2012 before I had started university and I majored in what he always wanted me to major in, and I am proud that I did this for him.

Not being able to do something or failing is just a new learning experience to prepare myself for the next time.

Noof Al-Naama​
Can you tell us more about your passion?
Before VCUQ, I would do random sketches and painting, and I didn’t know what ignites or makes me work to the best of my ability. But since VCUQ I started showcasing Qatari culture and values in my work with the understanding that there are many aspects of these rich traditions that are underrepresented. My work allowed me to gain an understanding of what aspects of the Qatari culture I can present to the world.

Art is an international language; I don’t have to use words. I thought, with all the events that were coming to Qatar, how can we showcase Qatari culture and values instead of having our identities get lost amid these outside influences.

Illustration © Sherifa Eletrebi, VCUarts Qatar.
alnaamanoof.wixsite.com/website the.noof

Curious to see her thesis? Experiential Environment for Qatar Storytelling History

Noof Al-Naama, ‘Hezaya,’ 2022, Interior Design © Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar.
Incorporating Qatari culture and tradition into my projects helps me feel passionate about them. For example, in my sophomore year, one project asked that we apply the color scheme of a painting to a window installation design, in an artistic approach to design. I chose my grandfather’s painting which represented Qatari culture. This helped me find my passion for this work. In another project my junior year, we were asked to redesign the VCUQ reception, and again, I found my inspiration from Qatari culture and incorporated sadu weaving, the crisscross weave technique using wool that is usually done by Qatari women. It was an important symbol because it is used in furniture making and clothing, but it represents the idea of having a process, and this is what VCUQ installs into students. It isn’t the final product, but the process that defines us.

My thesis project also represents this approach, more specifically, the subject is the oral story-telling history of Qatar. There’s been an idea in my mind on how we do not have a place in Qatar that represents the traditional stories. In the old days, people were illiterate and stories were shared through the spoken word. And as the older generation passes away, these stories and the documentation dies.

The storytellers now say the younger generation are not interested in listening to what we have to say. They’re interested in the new technologies – they do not sit with us, they run away from us – they say. So, I wanted to create a space that combines a research center along with a museum where technologies based on sensory stimulation will attract the interest of the youth and at the same time introduce them to our stories through narration.

Noof Al-Naama © Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar.

I wanted to create a space that combines a research center along with a museum where technologies based on sensory stimulation will attract the interest of the youth and at the same time introduce them to our stories through narration.

Noof Al-Naama
Noof Al-Naama, ‘Hezaya’ Project Detail, 2022, Interior Design © Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar.
After working at a firm to gain experience and real world knowledge, I want to open my own business, and create a space that speaks for itself that people want to visit for understanding culture and society, for an artistic journey, with artistic installations that talk of and share our rich culture with the world.
Noof Al-Naama, ‘Hezaya’ Project Detail. 2022, Interior Design © Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar.

I participated in the Ajyal 2021 art exhibition and had the honor of presenting my work to Shaikha Al-Mayassa. I also designed the new logo for the Total 2022 tennis championship, and I had the honor to present the logo to his excellency Nasser Al-Khelaifi. I participated in an exhibition along with other people at Katara and represented my aesthetic and style. So, it is important to put yourself out in the world, not just the university . Testing yourself before you graduate.

Noof Al-Naama, ‘Hezaya’ Project Detail. 2022, Interior Design © Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar.
I want to thank the people who pushed me to be the version that I am today. I came to VCUQ a very shy person, not confident in myself or my work. But, by my final year, I was more open to try new things and new experiences.

Insight

It is important to put yourself out in the world, not just the university. Testing yourself before you graduate.

Noof Al-Naama
Noof Al-Naama, ‘Hezaya’ Project Detail, 2022, Interior Design © Noof Al-Naama, VCUarts Qatar.

To her younger self

Be open to try new things and do not be afraid of what people might say, or of failure. If I fail so what, it’s just a learning experience. I just did not know that not being able to do something or failing is just a new learning experience to prepare myself for the next time.

I encourage people to follow the path they want to follow. If you want to be a doctor, then go ahead, if you want to be a musician, then go ahead. Just find a passion that you really want to do. Because this is where a change in the world happens. It’s not only following what society wants you to do, but you should go all out and do what you want to do.

ISSUE No.
4

The RAW Talent

MAY–AUG
2022
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