An Indian artist, who is unable to use his hands, has painted a large, lifelike portrait of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, using just his mouth. And he says it is his way of saying thanks.
According to Khaleej Times, Despite never actually visiting the UAE himself, 31-year-old Keralite, P. Jesfer, said the 15 square foot portrait is a tribute to Sheikh Mohammed for his support towards people with disabilities.
“In April, when Sheikh Mohammed announced that people with disabilities will now be called people with determination, it was a real morale booster for me,” Jesfer told Khaleej Times.
Since childhood, Jesfer has been living with muscular atrophy, a condition that limits his physical movement and has left him in a wheelchair for the past several years.
But so impressed was he by the steps taken towards the welfare of people with determination in Dubai, he decided to spend the past four months painting a portrait of Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, as a personal thank you.
A talented artist for many years, Jesfer spent his childhood painting with his hands. But due to the progression of his disease, he was forced to give up the paintbrush temporarily.
“More than 15 years ago, as my condition worsened, I was unable to use my hands to paint, so I started to practice with my mouth,” he said.
And ever since, he has become a perfectionist when it comes to the impressive art form. But it hasn’t been an easy ride, he said.
Born on January 2, 1985, in Kerala, India. While still at school, he painted using his hands, but due to the progression of the disease he had to quit school. Over the years he learned to write and paint with his mouth. After reading the autobiography of the then president of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, he was so inspired and touched that he painted the president’s portrait and had the opportunity to present it to him personally.