“The story you tell YOURSELF about YOURSELF, is the ONLY story that REALLY matters”
Project Manager and Art Director
Lama JOudieh is a graphic designer, artist, and art healer. In 2017 JOudieh developed an art healing program that focuses on uncovering the student’s deep-rooted burdens from these disabilities and help turn them into social powers. After winning the Nawaya Grant for Entrepreneurs from UNICEF, she went on to give speeches about her battles and successes in the “Hakaya Gel” talks for young entrepreneur’s success stories. She then created PaintBucketHead art studio in Beirut to practice what she preaches and has helped many individuals, adults, and children, in their healing journey.
“The story you tell YOURSELF about YOURSELF is the ONLY story that REALLY matters”
She was born half-blind with an unknown rare inoperable vision problem, and at a young age, she developed a hearing impermeant. Unaware of these disabilities, she suffered through most of her early school years with massive educational burdens. She was constantly shunned and rejected by many teachers, who accused her of being “stupid” and “unwilling to learn”. At the age of eight, she acknowledged her audio-visual problems, and later at twelve she was diagnosed with a severe case of dyslexia and mild ADD. Having missed most of her basic education she had to go back and learn how to read and write letter by letter. Carrying all of these burdens at a young age, it was only natural for her to struggle with mental health. Fortunately, she found her salvation in art. She practiced art as a form of healing from a very young age. “I found myself constantly thinking of ways to create value with my art, it was very important for me to feel like even if I had no value in school, at least I can create a value with what I bring to the table” she shared in one of her talks.
At twelve years old she started her handmade accessory brand Fionka, and she attended many events and exhibitions during her summers to promote her work.
“I think this was the key that opened my mind up to the possibility of merging between arts and entrepreneurial business. By fourteen I was budgeting my income, calculating my profits, and looking to create more desirable and unique handmade items, while studying my client’s needs”
After being accepted to the American University of Beirut in 2015, with a full academic scholarship, she was the first student to enroll in the accessible education office and played a vital part in its launch. She founded the “Hold me Up” awareness campaign that developed into a student club and later renamed Students for Equity in Education (SEE). As the founder and president of that club, she created many events to help students with their disabilities and normalize the stigma. She graduated in 2018 from the American University of Beirut with a BA in arts along with minors in art history and media studies. She also won an award in the AUB’s ABLE event “accessibility for a bolder learning experience” for demarginalizing disabilities and breaking the barriers.