The criteria for the Jameel Prize is it has to be inspired by Islamic art, design, and tradition and craftsmanship. The decision was very tough, but I think that each and every piece is a winning piece.
The ten finalists really stood out so we were quite satisfied with that selection. But as we had to get it down to one, the job became very difficult.
I have a feeling that to win the prize is a little bit unjust, because as I said before there are a number of artists and anyone of these artists could have won, and I am surprised that I have won it. What is important about a prize like this is that it is a prize about the Arab world, about the way the Arab world is seen. Of course, it is absolutely fantastic for me to realise that I am representing the Arab world, but I am also representing my country.
What we saw in Rashid’s work is that he has been really very persistent in following what he believed was important, of following his art, and following this tradition.
That universal aspect of his work is a hallmark of classical Islamic art.