"My new home is magnificent," Salah says. "It’s on the second floor so it feels completely secure. I can leave the sliding door open all the time."

Thom St development was completed in November 2020 and is one of our larger complexes. It consists of 80 homes, which include standalone homes, terraced housing and apartments. Alongside this, it has shared green space, a tenancy management office and a mulit-purpose community room.

"I am the king of my castle here," Salah says. "I watch the sunset over the Waitakere Ranges from my balcony each night. New Lynn feels like a brand new environment for me."

Salah with one of his surrealist art works.

Salah has led an interesting life. His passion for both people and art have provided him with endless motivation to help others.

Born in Egypt, he was always full of big ideas. Salah studied a fine arts degree in Alexandria and became a practitioner of surrealism – the 20th century art movement made famous by Spanish artist Salvador Dali.

After graduating university, Salah became an art teacher at Dante Alighieri Italian Society in Alexandria. From there, he went to work at the society in Greece where he lived for several years.

He also worked as an elevator operator on a cruise ship for a time. One day, he befriended a woman on the ship and she invited him to visit her in Wellington.

It’s now been more than 35 years since he made New Zealand his home. He’s lived in several towns and cities since then, teaching art, mainly in high schools.

Salah has also taught art therapy over the years and is passionate about its power to support mental wellbeing. “Art is an outlet. It gets rid of any suppressed feelings, which can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts."

He retired a few years ago, but keeps himself busy. He’s writing a book about his views on how to lead a fulfilling life.

He has also applied for funding to put on a new exhibition called ‘Three in One’. It will include his art works in photography, painting and sculpture.

Salah has always been driven to make the world a better place. "When I give to others, it reflects back on me. I could live in a golden palace but I still wouldn’t be fulfilled.

"I’m on the top of the world when I love and am loved."

Thom St development in New Lynn includes 80 new homes, green space, a community room and a tenancy management office.

Media Contact

Page updated: 20 September 2021