“Art Auction for Humanity” the first event of its kind in Saudi Arabia, gathered 50 local artists and 5 prominent speakers on the 24th and 25th of April for a great cause, to promote the Wedad Charity Foundation which works with orphans without identity.

The event was organized by Benefit Arabia, a non-profit organization with the primary aim of addressing and supporting major causes throughout the Kingdom. Benefit Arabia creates a fusion of entertainment and networking for social good, with a simple message: “Find joy in giving back.”

More than 1000 people were welcomed by classical symphonies as they entered Duniyati Hall in Westin Jeddah Hotel on Sunday, April 24th. Artist Ehsan Burhan stood at the center of the hall painting live for the audience. The canvas came to life with each brushstroke as the gifted painter drew a portrait titled “The Touch of Humanity.” The audience’s emotions hit a climax when the image was revealed: a hand reaching out to a helpless child.

Throughout the circular hall, artists exhibited their work. At every turn, there was something different to look at, including photography, traditional paintings and even digital artworks.

“The Touch of Humanity” and 7 other artworks were auctioned on Monday. The auctioneer was comedian Ahmad Fathaldin who is one of the actors and writers of “3al6ayer” (Altayer), an online comedy show that offers a different perspective of news and events in Saudi Arabia.

“I never got the ‘art’ thing nor did it make sense to me how paintings are sold for large sums,” said Fathaldin. “However, when I pre-interviewed the artists for the auction, I understood how much effort they put into their work. I was indeed glad to be the auctioneer and will cherish the memory forever. Watching the paintings and photographs and meeting the artists was my sundae, and knowing that orphans were at heart was the cherry on top.”

The participating artists donated more than 50% of their proceeds to Wedad Charity Foundation. Some artists even donated 100% of their proceeds to the charity.

Saobia Ahmed, a participating photographer, said, “I think this was one of the most well-organized and amazing events held in Jeddah, and for such a beautiful cause. It gave the pleasure to be united to local artists and photographers. I believe we should keep on doing such events to grow and spread love for those in need!”

“I honestly was not expecting so many attendees,” said Rania Al-Harith, founder of Benefit Arabia. “This was a successful launch for Benefit Arabia, and it was great witnessing artists and attendees experience the joy of giving back.”

“Together, let’s support” was Art Auction for Humanity’s motto. And that is exactly what it did. The event not only raised awareness about Benefit Arabia, but it also brought people together for social good, in this case, supporting Wedad Charity Foundation and orphans without identity.

–    Soraya Darwish

Images courtesy of Ahmed Darwish

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