Armless Jordanian Artist Mesmerizes With Beautiful Mosaics

Jordanian Rahma Khairallah, born without arms, offers a ray of hope to others with the same rare disease with her inspiring story in mosaic art.

The 36-year-old depends on her feet for everything. But she decided to be an active member of society and resorted to mosaic art to create paintings that only the talented can master despite her rare condition.

Anadolu Agency (AA) visited Khairallah at the Mosaic House for Crafts and Handicrafts in Madaba Province, where she told her inspiring story.

Difficult beginnings

Khairallah was born in the Shafa Badran district of the national capital, Amman, in 1986. Her family of six, including herself, went through difficult times with her mother, who was a housewife, and her father, who was a plumber. He had to quit his job due to health problems.

“When I was born, my mother stayed in the hospital for a week before finding out about my condition,” Rahma said.

When Rahma’s father found his daughter born without arms, he was initially unable to tell her mother about their newborn’s condition, but after a week he had no other choice. than to announce the sad news to his wife whom he was expecting at the hospital.

“When my father came to see her without me, she asked in a panic, and he replied that their daughter was fine, but there is one thing that must be said and that is that his daughter was born without hands.

Rahma Khairallah poses while making a mosaic panel, Mosaic House for Crafts and Handicrafts, Madaba, Jordan, June 28, 2022. (AA)

“My mother’s response at the time was, Praise be to God, and since then she said I will call her Rahma,” which means mercy, Khairallah said.

Khairallah said proudly that her mother taught her to use her feet and would give her things to put between her toes and watch from afar.

Eventually she got used to it and her mother taught her and placed her in a special center for people with reduced mobility where her “abilities increased considerably”.

journey of pain

Khairallah was educated up to sixth form in a school for the disabled but was not accepted beyond that in any school, “under the pretext of not being able to assume my responsibility” even though the officials knew that she had no health issues, she said. .

Khairallah said her family didn’t own a house when she was growing up and government agencies didn’t give her any help.

Saudi Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz saw Khairallah on a satellite channel 20 years ago and followed his story. He contacted the family and donated money which allowed them to buy land and build a house. He also donated “prosthetic limbs, and I went to the United States and came back to Jordan after three months with those limbs,” she said.

“The Saudi prince promised me that I would perform Umrah and Hajj, and it was done, and during my performance of the Hajj rituals, I got tired of the prostheses, so I had to put them in my bags travel, and unfortunately those bags were stolen, and from that day on I was left without them,” she said.

Khairallah remained silent and took a deep breath when asked how society views her.

“Fifteen years ago I felt the looks of people indicating that they were alienating me, I eat and drink with my feet,” she said.

People’s reaction to her made her unhappy, but she resorted to patience.

Rahma Khairallah poses while making a mosaic panel, Mosaic House for Crafts and Handicrafts, Madaba, Jordan, June 28, 2022. (AA)

Rahma Khairallah poses while making a mosaic panel, Mosaic House for Crafts and Handicrafts, Madaba, Jordan, June 28, 2022. (AA)

Mosaic premiere

In 2018, Rahma signed up for a 13-day mosaic art course and participants had to complete at least one painting.

Her voice was quiet and low as she told the story of the mosaic formation. But rose quickly with a pride that appeared on his face.

“During the training, I managed to design three mosaic panels, and they were amazed by what I did,” she said.

“The course organizers confirmed that what I did couldn’t be done by healthy people, and it wasn’t just sympathy, because I got first place.”

Smiling proudly, she said, “A graduation ceremony was held for the participants, and everyone stood up and applauded me, and I was happy about that.

“Now I’m happy with my new job. A few weeks ago, a mosaic specialist in the city contacted me, asking me to work with them on making various mosaic panels,” he said. she declared.

Madaba is 33 kilometers (21 miles) south of Amman and its foundation dates back to the Moabite era in the 13th century BC

The city is called the capital of the mosaic because most of the tourist sites contain mosaic paintings, in addition to the presence of centers specialized in teaching the art.

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Martin E. Berry