Animated stickers and workshop delivered in AlUla part of the Andy Warhol workshop series.

In 2023, the city of AlUla hosted an exhibition for Andy Warhol, incorporating a series of workshops looking at Pop in Arab culture. I was invited by Arts AlUla and Sumi Ghose to deliver one of these workshops.

It is rare to find a destination so arresting, and yet so hidden from travel books and blogs. What was most striking was the contrast of opposites: desert and oasis, heat of the day and cold of the night, flat sand and rugged mountains, old town and new architecture, traditional farmers mingling with contemporary artists… The energy of a place transforming in tune with its context was palpable and invigorating.

For our workshop, we decided to look at technology and social media.Researching what is available about this place online,, we found close to nothing, so we decided to run a workshop with local participants that looks for colloquial Saudi words, and creates versions in the form of animated pop stickers. This aimed to connect with the younger generations who are very active on social media, but find little representation.


To create the stickers, we drew a typeface inspired by the ragged edges of the site of Hegra, a recently designated national heritage site, which  struck us as very similar to pixel art. We wanted to leave a lasting legacy for this workshop by not only uploading the participants’ work, but also by setting the bar to what we were trying to achieve with them. With this in mind, we created a set of 40 stickers, uploaded them to Giffy, free and accessible for the world to use, and built on this library with the participation of local Saudis who chose and animated their own words.

Stickers available on Giphy by searching #artsAlUla, or #righttoleft
Saudi Pop is a project by Right to Left for Arts AlUla

Studio team:
Creative direction: Samar Maakaroun
Designers: Chung Hin Ching, Yi-Zhi Huang
Chung Hin Ching (Jacob)

Arts Alula
Sumantro C Ghose
Royal Commission of AlUla
Rajeev Gopinadh
Royal Commission of AlUla
Sophia Cozzi
The Aimes

Mass House
Flint Culture