This series came about as a way to organize my submission for the 12 x 12 Juried Exhibition at the Lawrence Arts Center (where my piece, The Prophet, will be on view through December 22, 2017).
I had just come back from my first trip to Lebanon, loving family I had never known in a country I had never met. My younger cousin was still on summer vacation, and often texted me via WhatsApp. One day he explained Islam to me, in broken texts (and in English), and a phrase he used stuck: "We were born to pray."
This sparked my first piece, The Prophet. I had been wanting to do another ink drawing, and with the submission restriction of 12" x 12" on paper, I was free to do a small drawing. I connected the imagery to Gibran Kahlil Gibran's renowned prose The Prophet.
The next piece, Daughter of an Immigrant, was inspired by the series of signs I created in direct response to the first travel ban implemented earlier this year (pictured above). The only phrase I could hear in my head, over and over, was "Daughter of an immigrant," and the minute I stepped foot into studio I grabbed the first surface I could find and the brightest red paint I had. I wrote sign after sign and pinned them around my door, angry and confused. Daughter of an Immigrant refines these feelings, edited into choice book pages (from the faithful Life Desert book), with words from my journal I kept in Lebanon.