Unlike most artists who discover their love for art at a young age, Safaa Odah realized her passion for drawing when she was in college. Back then, she was studying household economics and education in Al-Aqsa University in Gaza. Throughout her lectures, she caught herself doodling with a pencil in her notebook margins as a way to pass time. Drawing, however, was simply a side hobby, and after graduating, she looked for jobs in her field of study. Unfortunately, she had no luck and remained unemployed: a stressful position to be in. Surprisingly, her lack of employment allowed her more time to work on her drawings and to hone her skills. In 2009, she decided to pursue art seriously. Later, she made the jump from traditional pencil and paper to using a drawing tablet to create digital art.
Inspired by the art of her fellow Palestinian caricature artists, such as Naji al-Ali, Safaa, too, seeks to portray the human experience through art that criticizes societal norms and political decisions. She has also illustrated pamphlets for the ministry of health, and her art has received local and international praise.
Although an exhibition of her art is long overdue, she has yet to have one. Her current focus is more on her Facebook page where she publishes most of her work: https://www.facebook.com/karykatyr.yara.
In the future, Safaa hopes to have her illustrations published in magazines all over the world. “My art isn’t only for Arabs or Palestinians, it is meant for people all over the globe,” she explains.
Safaa lives in Gaza where she works as a freelancer. In addition to drawing, she enjoys singing at home.