Malak Mattar | 24-02-2019
Editor's note: Malak Mattar's latest artwork was inspired when she heard the news that Israeli forces had expelled the Abu Asab family from their home in the Muslim Quarter of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and handed it to Jewish settlers. With no prior warning, Israeli forces surrounded the house and blocked the road leading to it. They then stormed the house it and prevented family members from collecting their belongings.
This piece is very close to my heart. When you are pushed from your land and your home, it’s as if your life is ripped away as well. For the thief, it is only a house; you can find a new place to live. But for us, it is home.
Our memories, good times and bad times, our growth, our love: all is embodied in our home. Your home becomes spiritually inseparable from you, especially when it encompasses generations of history.
As a Palestinian, seeing TV and social media coverage of more of our homes being stolen cuts me to the core. As Palestinians, we have all experienced this theft in one way or another as and this is in part why we will never lose our identity, we will never let go of our dream of returning to our land; it is our blood and our soul. We love Palestine and we love the people who are part of it. This passion will continue to be represented in every painting, dance, song and speech t we create or give. We stand together with those who are robbed.
A note about the images in the painting: Her arms cradle her home, holding it close to her heart. The calligraphy is a poem by the famed Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish on the "murder of home."
Posted: February 24, 2019