A translated version of this piece is Available in: العربية (Arabic)
Haifa is a visual storyteller and digital illustrator based in Sana’a. Due to personal circumstances, she was unable to pursue a formal education, but continued her path as a self-taught artist. During this journey of self-determination, Haifa successfully mastered English as well as digital illustration. She started her career four years ago, when she developed and published her first English comic. Since then, Haifa has gained a large number of followers from all over the world.
In recent years, Haifa has continued to write, illustrate and publish visual stories. She shares stories written in a Yemeni-Sana’ni dialect on her Facebook page, with visuals inspired by Yemeni heritage. As her fanbase expanded, she began writing comics in various other local dialects. She now boasts more than 4,000 followers on social media networks and recently began offering digital portraits, as well as customized stickers for applications such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Her work is in demand, and she continues to receive many requests.
Her most popular Yemeni themed stickers on Telegram include a girl in traditional Taizi dress, and a collection of stickers of Yemeni singer Ammar al-Azki. Beyond social media, Haifa has illustrated two books for the first and second grade curriculum.
Speaking about her latest comic published on al-Madaniya, she writes, “I tried to illustrate the struggle of the local agricultural industry in relationship to the cultivation of qat, because many farmers believe that it is a fast growing cash crop. However, this drive has led to the shortage of food crops and increased the suffering of large segments of the population, among other current challenges.”
Haifa has created these comic characters with the hope that the ideas reach a wide range of Yemeni followers and readers. Her aim is to simplify the presentation of the idea and provoke a humorous outlook, which she believes is currently needed in the community.