Promoting Arab women artists

Dr Monica Mergiu

Dr Monica Mergiu is a German dentist based in Munich. Also she is a multi-faceted writer and a member of the German Union of Writers and International Federation of Journalists.
As a promoter of Arab culture and heritage, she has been recognised and awarded for her books and articles. She also helps with cross cultural initiatives and multicultural dialogue as a women empowerment activist.
An art curator, Dr Monica has helped promote Arab women artists and authored about six books.
Her celebrated literary collection, Women & Art, is the first book which presents artworks, interviews and photos of the most representative artistic women and royals and personalities of the Arab World.
For over two decades, Dr Monica has been walking her journey surrounded by Arab friends and artists and discovering new things to write about.
Dr Monica says she was always in love with Arab culture and traditions.
“In the many European libraries, I could find many books about foreign cultures but very little details or information about Gulf countries, especially about GCC women artists,” she says, and explains why she went ahead with her numerous books.
In the Sultanate, Dr Monica has many wonderful friends, both Omanis and other nationalities who are residents here. She singles out Alia al Farsi, an accomplished unconventional artist and the most representative and well-known among Arab artists from Oman. The other two being Italian eclectic contemporary artist and performer Lucia Oliva and Luca, all of whom have found mention in her books.
Alia is one of her most attractive subjects in Dr Monica’s book titled Women & Art.
“Her paintings are sensitive, feminine and explore the beauty of Omani heritage flavoured with the scents of nature and landscape. Her paintings colourfully wear the sounds and brilliant light of the Omani territory, with a magical touch,” she explains.
“Interviewing her was like a long, amazing cultural journey through the sands and flowers of Oman,” she says. The impressive artworks of each artist are largely presented in the book with special chapters, interviews and images. Alia presents through her interview and paintings the marvellous landscapes of Oman, the flair of amouage and scents of the Omani essences which is famous in Europe. The portraits created by Alia provide the Europeans a feeling of being part of the wonderful, friendly and warm country that the Sultanate is.
Alia is well-known for her own style of abstract paintings. Her paintings are inspired by her love for Sufism and Omani culture. With her experience, she integrates diverse materials into her paintings such as French poetry, ancient Cambodian textiles, and Omani artefacts and coins. Alia Gallery, a private gallery located in Seeb owned by her, presents a variation of abstract art paintings and other objects.
Her recent paintings represent unity and oneness. The colours of the houses are inspired by Omani women’s clothing, and represent celebration of happiness. The artist showcases her hometown as she was originally born and raised in Muttrah, famous for its merchant houses going back to the 18th century.
She uses different techniques to create this artwork. The painting consists of numerous collages which come from Omani women clothing, ancient Buddhist calligraphy and French poetry.
Alia has been internationally active with her art since 1998 and has also been awarded and certified by different international organisations.
All the books written by Dr Monica are illustrated and designed by Raouf Meftah, the famous Unesco Monaco awarded member and artist of Arab calligraphy. Many of his artworks are inspired by Omani culture and heritage.
As the Founder and Editor of Chief of Royal Arts Visions Magazine, Dr Monica’s other notable books are Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikha Aisha’s Majilis book collection, Roses Over the Walls, Ocean Letters and The Golden Kaftan. All her books are available on Amazon.