AMMAN- As we stepped down from the car on a hot June morning, the lavish greenery glistening under the rays of the sun welcomed us at the building entrance – just the way she described it. The towering leaves led us to a staircase to be greeted by a name tag indicating the family in residence: Ismail Shammout household. This is where renowned Palestinian artist Tamam Al Akhal resides. This is where memories were made, kids’ birthdays celebrated, and famous artworks created. 

Al Akhal’s living room adorned with art, courtesy of the artmejo team.

Tamam Al Akhal was born in 1935 in the Palestinian city of oranges, Yaffa. She resides in Jordan where at 84 years of age, she continues to paint on a daily basis.

Al Akhal preparing new artwork at her studio, courtesy of the artmejo team.

Her home is nothing short of a private museum. Paintings from her catalogue hang side by side next to ones by her late husband, Palestinian artist Ismail Shammout. Her living room is decked with artwork the couple created and collected during their lifetime. Amongst the couple’s own are artisanal crafts from their travels and gifted works from their artist friends.

Bronze work by Iraqi artist Nashaat Alousi (back) sandwiched between works by Al Akhal (left) and Shammout (right)

Al Akhal sat down with the artmejo team in her living room and talked to us about her artistic career. She spoke in detail about her leaving Yaffa, moving to Beirut, studying in Egypt then visiting her hometown again years later.

Tamam Al Akhal’s home studio, image courtesy of the artmejo team.

In our conversation, Al Akhal shared exclusive behind the scenes stories of many of her and Shammout‘s most famous works and how the two met.

Portrait from memory of Tamam Al Akhal by husband Ismail Shammout, image courtesy of the artmejo team.

We were also given a private tour around her home studio where many of the canvases on display are still in progress. Al Akhal spoke in admiration about her fresh body of work, which only recently came off an airplane from being exhibited in Egypt.

Tamam Al Akhal at her home studio, image courtesy of the artmejo team.

Learn all about the artist in her own words by watching our exclusive interview on YouTube:

 

Tamam Al Akhal Ya Lail, Ya Ain series, Oil on Canvas, 2008, image courtesy of the artmejo team.
Tamam Al Akhal, Oil on Canvas, 1992, painted in Kuwait, image courtesy of the artmejo team.
Ismail Shammout painting hanging in living room, Oil on Canvas, 2005, image courtesy of the artmejo team.
Tamam Al Akhal posing in her studio with the artmejo team, courtesy of artmejo.

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