Angelika, who lives in Germany, contacted us about Shahda and kindly agreed to share some memories:
When she was a child, in the late 1950s she travelled with her parents, Inge & Hellmut, and stayed several months in Provence, southern France.
Both her parents were artists: they were writers, but also worked as translators, wrote theatre play reviews and participated in radio cultural programmes.
Angelika remembers her family thought of Shahda as a very nice, sensitive and interesting person and that the time was really inspiring.
In his correspondence with Angelika's family, it is no surprise that Shadha wrote in a very humble tone about his fear of not succeeding, about his first achievements since his arrival in France and then his increasing success.
He was amazed that museums had already bought some of his paintings but was so happy as the prizes would help him continue on his way more "easily".
He appeared even more humble about Paris, the number and quality of painters there, but wrote that he would stay and work very hard and that God and the friendships he had formed would help him.
He naturally also shared his impressions of Paris life, Montmartre, other artists...
Angelika was kind enough to share copies of family photos with Shahda (he initially used the spelling Chahda), as well as the invitation to his first exhibition in France in 1958, and the text written by Paul Surtel, an older fellow painter who immediately admired the man and his art.