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He titled his project "Desert of Pharan" in a nod to Mecca's ancient name.The kingdom's art scene has become a platform for Saudi artists to voice their frustration about the country's most sensitive issues without having to come into friction with the state's rulers, reaching the public in new ways and allowing individual points of view in a country where ultraconservative norms have long prevailed.The work challenges the shame associated with mentioning women's names in front of Saudi men.Art is not taught in public schools or public universities in Saudi Arabia so Gharem donated the proceeds from his sale to an art program for young Saudis.Stapleton became involved in Saudi art after a trip to a little-known artist village called Al-Meftaha in 2003 .Art has a way of transcending borders that look difficult to cross, Stapleton said, especially between Saudi Arabia and the West.
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