Country of residence: United Arab Emirates
Understanding the role that art should play in society is often a debate that polarises communities. Occasionally, however, a member of a generation is smart enough to make the argument convincingly as to why a country’s artists should be front and centre. Atiq is that person for the UAE. Born to an Emirati father and a Japanese-American mother, the spoken-word poet is smart enough to understand that what sets her apart also helps her see the ways in which she can bring the people of her country together.
She wants schools in every emirate to offer more art programmes, and to get all Emiratis thinking about how they can contribute to a richer culture that truly appreciates the strength and beauty of all art.
In an interview in 2015 she said: “Where will the world be without the poets, writers, artists, painters and sculptors?”