Aya Tarek

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Aya Tarek
آية طارق
AO S9793 OPT -2.jpg
Born Aya Tarek Hassan
Alexandria, Egypt
Nationality Egyptian
Alma mater Alexandria University
Occupation Artist
Website www.ayatarek.com

Aya Tarek (Arabic: آية طارق‎) is an Egyptian artist from the city of Alexandria.[1] Tarek's mediums are primarily street art or graffiti and paint. Although street art in Egypt gained much international attention after the 2011 revolution, Tarek began sharing her street art on the walls of Alexandria in 2008, when she was 18.[2] Tarek also produces indoor murals which she feels helps her in to be taken more seriously as an artist. However, she utterly stresses the importance of street art because it is accessible to anyone to take whatever they may need to from the work.[3]


She was born in 1990. her grandfather was a graphic designer. In 2008, she began creating street art.[4]


Tarek is seen by many as the first serious street artist in Egypt.[5][6]

She has been featured in and produced several independent films, including a film by Ahmed Abdallah called Microphone, which explores Alexandria’s art scene.[2][7] In one of her own pieces, "How to Fuck Your Mind", Tarek portrays a graffiti artist’s instant rise and fall from fame. The animated film includes Tarek’s personal experiences with the media and how have affected her.[8] An outspoken critic, Tarek uses multiple art venues that center on graffiti to express her views and share them with others in public spaces. She explains her philosophy, asserting that graffiti "is not about being rich, or having a secluded space."[2] Tarek has a strong following on Facebook and several Egyptian-based blogs.

In the fall of 2012, Tarek participated in an exhibition in Beirut called White Wall, which brought together graffiti artists from all over the world.[9] The exhibit was organized by the Beirut Art Center in partnership with Foundation Saradar and featured an exhibit at the Beirut Art Center and works displayed on the streets of Beirut.[10] Aya Tarek describes her experience here to be extremely free and the other artists were not expected to stick to one message when creating this wall. Many different artists from all around the world came here to work in a space free of judgement.[3]

Although Tarek's work is seen to others as a part of a political agenda, she states that, "most of us are not really political; [us] artists … are not about politics, nor is our art. We’re about style and technique. It’s not about heavy political subject matter"[3] She states that after the revolution, the West's view of Egypt changed drastically, which is why lots of artists portrayed political ideals in their work. However, she is more concerned in making good art that can be valued for more than just a political statement.

Aya Tarek stresses the importance of street art, especially in Egypt. She talks on how it is extremely available to the public to see, despite the vast censorship that occurs in her country. She states, “The street is for everyone.” She considers herself to be an experimental artists, and practices vast creative freedom in her work.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aya Tarek". Khatt Foundation. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Balata, Angie. "The Graffiti "Superheroes"". The Arab British Centre. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Taking it to the Streets". REORIENT - Middle Eastern Arts and Culture Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  4. ^ "Aya Tarek: For Art's Sake". Cairo Scene. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  5. ^ http://www.whitewallbeirut.com/artists/
  6. ^ http://today.almasryalyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=189912
  7. ^ Ali, Amro. "Alexandria Re-Imagined: the Revolution through Art". Jadaliyya. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "How To Fuck Up Your Mind!". Aya Tarek. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "White Wall: Beirut's street art exhibited". Ahram Online. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "White Wall". White Wall. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "World-renowned muralist Aya Tarek tags USF". Creative Loafing Tampa. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 

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