"Between September 1998 and September 2001 I lived in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. I stumbled across Maria’s 1000 Woodcuts site when we finally got access to the Internet six months after arriving. I was very impressed to say the least. Thanks to Maria, I learned that baby oil is a much better cleanup option than the mineral spirits I had been using since I started my MFA in 1984. My printmaking studio is now solvent free although I use oil based ink.
The summer before my husband’s job moved us to Jeddah, I started taking Arabic lessons. The very first phrase I learned to say from my first Arabic teacher (my Lebanese friend from Qatar) seemed perfect for the Peace Puzzle. A Sudanese student at Bradley University taught me the Arabic alphabet. I was able to sound out and read the signs in the airport when I first arrived in Jeddah (while waiting for over an hour to clear customs). Having the English translation underneath really helped. For my piece of the Peace Puzzle, I decided to write the common Arabic greeting “Al sa-lahm a’a-LAY-koom” in Arabic calligraphy. The literal translation of this common way to say “Good day” is “The Peace be upon you.” This was how my Yemeni driver Mohammad greeted me everyday. This was what I heard when I entered a stall in the souk (market). This lovely phrase was a part of my everyday life in Jeddah.
First I needed to brush up on my Arabic calligraphy. I have managed to draw out the phrase in Arabic calligraphy (on my second try) to fit my piece of the Peace Puzzle. Now I must decide whether the letters should be white or black. I wish I knew what my tiny block would be next to in this almost 4 by 9 foot printing matrix. I guess that’s part of the surprise of what this collaborative project is all about."
New Hartford, Connecticut USA
My vision of peace is people of all houses joining together with respect and friendship. (I probably have watched too many shows with names such as House of Cards. Game of Thrones and PBS Historical Dramas but it seems like foregoing competition based on lineage, beliefs and money would be good.)
1000woodcuts Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/1000woodcuts
Redding, Connecticut, USA
"For many years, I participated in international kite-flying festivals. We came together from foreign lands to engage in one common love. We may not have understood each others' words, but we acted as One and shared great joy.
It reminds me of the words sung by Crosby Stills Nash & Young:
""If you smile at me
I will understand
'cuz that is something
does in the same language.....""
Blessings to All
Redding, Connecticut, U.S.A."
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