Sunday, February 28, 2010

Talking Art: Middle Eastern Beauty

Copyright 2006 Said Nuseibeh. All rights reserved.

By Judith A. Ross for Talking Writing

“In addition to investigating my cultural heritage and selfishly seeking personal creative inspiration, my cultural or political mission is to break the narrow and negative confines of contemporary stereotypes and give viewers access to a wider galaxy of Islamic and Arab experience.

Audiences in the west rarely get the opportunity to see Islamic culture free from violence, anger, poverty, despair all of which seem to be the contemporary fruit of European colonization. To the extent that these images move us towards an opening of hearts and minds, I will be honored.” Said Nuseibeh
Said Nuseibeh’s photographs are much more than pretty pictures, though many of them depict a level of manmade beauty that is rare in any age. His photos, like this one, "Domes at Dusk," of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, provide a gateway into a culture and history that many of us in the United States will never experience or witness firsthand.

As he notes above, Said uses his art to build bridges. Like a lot of writers, musicians, and visual artists, in answering his own questions, he is creating understanding for the rest of us as well. As he writes on his website,

“Perhaps this explains how a boy whose mother grew up across a canyon from Edward Weston and whose father was dispossessed of his native Jerusalem, grew up himself between San Francisco and Appalachia, and ultimately exercised photography to build new connectivities and bridge disparate worlds.”

The warm golden glow of the magnificent dome captured in this image not only helps me see the beauty of this far-off land, it makes me want to know more about the people who built it. And it confirms what many in my country don't understand: The people living in that part of the world are like us. They love their children, they love beauty, and they want to live their lives in peace.

1 comment:

  1. Reminder: click on the image within the post to get the full effect. JR


Dear Talking Writing Readers: Commenting is easy! Please don't be put off by what may seem to be a strange menu of options.

First, select a profile. The most common are (1) your Google account, which will allow other readers to see your Google profile. But you don't need an account with Google or the other services to comment. Other common choices are (2)"Name/URL" and (3) "Anonymous." If one profile doesn't work for you, try again with another.

Then type away in the comment box. You can preview your comment and make edits before posting it.

Let us know if anything else about this process seems unclear. It's a learning curve for us all.