H.E. Mr. Abdel Sattar Issa, Ambassador of Lebanon to the Netherlands.
By Guido Lanfranchi.
On June 7-8th, 2019, Lebanese lawyer and artist Roula Derbas exposed her paintings at the residence of the Lebanese Ambassador to the Netherlands. In her exhibition called “In between colors”, the artists showcased a number of her paintings to a large number of guests.
On June 7th, 2019, a large number of guests started arriving in Wassenaar to the residence of H.E. Mr. Abdel Sattar Issa, the Lebanese Ambassador to the Netherlands.
The guests were invited to the residence for the inauguration ceremony of “In between colors”, the exhibition of Lebanese lawyer and painter Roula Derbas.
Soon, the room was filled with people, including Ambassadors accredited in the Netherlands, diplomats, Dutch MPs, as well as Ms. Ivana Hrdličková, President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and Mr. Rachid Derbas, former Minister and President of the Bar.
Welcoming all the participants, Ambassador Issa stressed how “culture has always been one of Lebanon’s main assets”. He highlighted the legacy of several Lebanese artists that have historically enjoyed international fame, such as the writers Khalil Gibran and Amin Maalouf, as well as the musicians Fayrouz and the Rahbani brothers.
Lebanon’s cultural soft power is still strong today – the Ambassador rejoiced – pointing at the recent performances conducted in the Netherlands by a number of contemporary Lebanese artists, such as Marcel Khalife, Rima Kcheich, the band Mashrou’ Leila, Zian Rahbani, and Marwan Rechmaoui.
Ambassador Issa then introduced his friend and compatriot Roula Derbas, the protagonist of the night, praising her for her success in balancing – just like her father – an artistic activity with her career in the field of law.
Ms. Derbas was also widely praised by Ms. Jacqueline Crijns from the Gallerie Pied-a-Terre, the host of the artist’s first exhibition. Ms. Crijns defined Roula as “a rising star”, stressing her talent, her kindness, and her “overwhelming drive”.
Finally taking the word, Ms. Derbas thanked the Ambassador and all the presents for their support in allowing her to “share her true colors”. She also had a warm word of thank to the Gallerie Pied-a-Terre, her parents, and her whole family, who came to the Netherlands specifically for this occasion.
Roula concluded with a quote from the famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh: “I am an artist. These words naturally imply always seeking without ever fully finding”.
A video made by Roula’s friends concluded the ceremony, after which the guests were free to roam around the Ambassador’s beautiful residence, enjoying drinks, snacks, conversations, and especially the painting of the “rising star” Roula Derbas.