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Sharing Experiences: Canadian Arab Women’s Association

In February 2020 we launched a new outreach program to connect with our communities. On invitation, various groups come to the gallery and communicate a lived experience through a free workshop in clay. The lived experience is based on themes discussed with the leaders and the participants of each community group.

The work created is then presented to the community at large with an exhibition and a publication. The fifth community group we invited was the Canadian Arab Women’s Association (CAWA).

We thank John and Rebecca Short for their support of this program. We do hope that this program will not only allow us to strengthen the existing bonds between our gallery and community partners we already have, but also new ones and allow for new friendships to be forged between the participants.

Denis Longchamps, PHD 
Executive Director and Chief Curator, 
Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery 

At the Canadian Arab Women’s Association (CAWA), we are always looking for new activities to engage and connect Arab women. Creative opportunities geared towards adults and without any additional costs are few and far between, so when the Clay and Glass Gallery approached CAWA for the the Sharing Experiences project, we were immediately interested.

CAWA participants really enjoyed exploring working with clay, expressing themselves through their art and connecting with each other. Art has the power to bring people together in such profound ways, and that was definitely shown through this important project. Thank you to the Clay and Glass Gallery for this wonderful opportunity! I, personally, hope that this is just the first of many opportunities for our organizations to work together!

Asma Alwahsh
President and Founder
Canadian Arab Women’s Association

Images and artist statements:


My name is Dalia from the flower “The Dhalia” so I drew my flower in the middle and as a travel consultant who visited many countries I drew the national flower of some of the countries that have a special meaning to me such as the Syrian Jasmine “being from Syria”, the Bunchberry having settled in Canada, and the Blue cornflower having spent most of my summer holidays in Germany as a child.

Iman Shaheen

I miss my childhood, and my family in Gaza. My dad used to do a family picnic to the sea, usually we spent the whole day on the beach. And I used to collect different kinds of seashells there.

Wardah Alnunn

Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The most expensive hotel in the world.

Hanan Hamdan

As a Palestinian woman, I grew up watching my mother, grandmother and other women make and wear embroidered garments. The beauty of the intricate designs has always fascinated me and still does.


Through the process of making the clay piece, I was fascinated by the characteristic of clay to having memory. Its flexibility yet ability to remember deep and strong strokes inspired me to create a piece that resembles my resiliency and belonging.

As a Syrian immigrant living in Canada and a growing artist in theatrical Arts and music, I navigate the world through my traditional views of Islamic Middle-eastern origins imprinted in my state of being like strong strokes in the clay, and aspire to incorporate them in contemporary forms of music and theatre.


Palestine is a region in the Middle East. It is rich in history and culture. It is called the “Holy land”. I wish I will visit some day. SAY YES TO PEACE.


I was born in Syria, but left the country and immigrated with my parents to the Emirates when I was 2 years old. I visited in the summer. These visits allowed me to connect to the culture and to the people. I consider religion a strong part of my identity. I believe the centrality of God is essential to my Islamic belief. I see this centrality resembled in the beautiful Damascene fountains. The circular designs with the center in Islamic art have always drawn my attention, maybe because I am in a constant search for a sense of centrality. Syria is also well known for the Pothos plant, it is called in some areas “Qalb Abdelwahab”، which means the heart of Abdelwahab (an Arabic name). These plants can be seen all around Syrian houses and are well known for being strong and able to grow even in the worst conditions. This plant reminds me of the resiliency of refugees and immigrants who are in search of a better life leaning into and adapting to the toughest of circumstances.


No written statement provided. Design is inspired by Arabic calligraphy, linked to Ramadan.

Mai Khalaf

A piece for peace – Quds is Ours.

Palestine shall be free…free like a bird flying below the high blue sky. Palestine shall stay rooted… rooted like the olive tree is rooted deep in the soil.


I grew up in a coastal city in Syria called Jableh. My window overlooked the Mediterranean and the old buildings of my neighbourhood where I played soccer with my friends. The city taught me the love for the sea, for soccer and for adventure. I was one of the girls who joined the first soccer club for women in Jableh and I played on a professional level with the Syrian national team. Soccer took me to places and allowed me to explore my identity; however, the Mediterranean has this magic charm that always brings my heart back to the roots I left there.

Progress Photos:

The group used a technique called ‘sgraffito’ to decorate bowls with images that represent identity and belonging.

The finished pieces were displayed at the gallery during the month of May 2022.


CAWA cover

Invitation to take part:

Do you know a community group or organization that would like to take part? Please view invitation below and contact Shannon at for more information. Thank you!