Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Thu

27

Sep

2007

David and Goliath: Palestinian Artist Spreads Hope
Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:48
by Ramzy Baroud

When one commits to the life of an active citizen, spending their hours days and years reading and writing about current events, it becomes a daily struggle to overcome the cynicism that chases after you with the despairing headlines marking each newspaper or magazine. Rare is it when someone or something comes along to revive the feelings of courage, tenacity and wilfulness of the young and hopeful activist.

In my office, hanging above the fireplace in conspicuous view from any part of the room is a large print of Rana Ghassan’s "David and Goliath". It has been placed in a strategic location, where beholding it daily is unavoidable. I am forced to study the foreboding danger portrayed as soldiers gather in the distant dust. I must consider that the young faceless boy in the work stands with no barricade to protect him, no riot gear, armoured vehicle, just a worn-out cotton t-shirt and a steadfastness that can move mountains.



With a hearty clutch on a handful of stones, his only weapon, the bulging veins and blanched knuckles convey an uncommon strength that so fluently and completely relays the history of the Palestinian struggle. It is not a message of victimization, weakness and pity. Yes, it does speak of adversity, injustice, but also of empowerment and the will to rise above wrong. If there is any notion that Palestinians would wish to relay, it is this; that their fight is not born of weakness and pity, but of brazen determination and guts. Ghassan is an ambassador in her own right, and has, in my opinion, conveyed this message impeccably.

"David and Goliath" reflects a symphony of emotions. She masterfully brings together elements of accurate drawing, mood coloration, and phenomenal composition, capturing subtle emotions sometimes hidden within a live scene or photograph, and expresses the struggle of life under oppression in an inspiring light of courage and struggle.

One of her many strengths is that Ghassan focuses on the positive emotions of a negative scene. Some artists who choose to focus on Palestinian themes concentrate on the oppressors, which results in morbid, dark, and although very powerful and remarkable, nonetheless gloomy scenes. She believes that history has shown us that it is our darkest hours, which provide us with the contrasting background for the brightest light of hope and inspiration. Clearly, this idea is captured in her work.

Recent months have sadly also shown a less dignified side of the Palestinian cause. With infighting and internal politics so divisive that the real essence of struggle is eroded, Ghassan's also provides a painful and abrupt reminder of the real heroes in this struggle. It is the poor, the disenfranchised and more, the youth of Palestine that keep the authentic and true struggle alive. I believe that Ghassan, through this intensely meaningful portrait, not only exposes the outside enemy, but the failure of the Palestinian leadership as well, for it is not politicians, ministers and the like that brave the occupying army, but a boy in the springtime of his youth who stands in his people's defence.

I am so thankful for Rana Ghassan, for her genius, dedication and commitment to documenting this struggle in such a beautiful way. The pride and hope that screams from each canvas forces one to renew their commitment somehow, to reconsider their place in this unshakable struggle with each thoughtful gaze. I am certain that Ghassan will be honoured for generations as one of the most gifted Palestinian artists of our time.

For more information check out this page.

-Ramzy Baroud is an author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers and journals worldwide. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London). For more, visit his website: www.ramzybaroud.net
More from this author:
American Voters Must Not Reward Failure (9174 Hits)
By Ramzy Baroud How critical is the situation in Iraq? It depends on who you ask and when. Common sense tells us that the situation there...
Palestine as a Foil for People’s Unconnected Dreams (7563 Hits)
By Ramzy Baroud. Thousands of people recently marched in London to commemorate Quds Day, an annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian...
Treacherous Road to Oslo Begins Here (7648 Hits)
By Ramzy Baroud Attempts to coerce Palestinians into submission have not always manifested themselves in the crude form of a tank, a bullet,...
Killing Hope in Beit Hanoun (8142 Hits)
By Ramzy Baroud “God is greater than Israel and America,” was the echoing cry of tens of thousands of Palestinians, who descended...
Reclaiming America: Democrats Must Truly Change Course (7596 Hits)
By Ramzy Baroud The Democrats' ascendancy within the US Congress could signal the regaining by the public, of its country's direction. ...
Related Articles:
The Land Without Hope (8199 Hits)
“Imagine what it's like to be a young person living in a country that is not moving toward reform. You're 21 years old, and while your peers in...
More “Culture Wars” Gibberish from nutcase David Brooks (10852 Hits)
Most of us know David Brooks as the balding goofball on “The Jim Lehrer News Hour” who shrugs his shoulders and giggles gleefully whenever...
Unleashing the Christ Within:Last Hope for the Moribund Soul of a Nation? (6114 Hits)
by Jason Miller “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” -Jesus Christ Humanity’s...
A Beacon of Hope and Unity in the Middle East (6820 Hits)
by Chris Floyd Jews and Muslims unite against homosexuals (Daily Telegraph; plus an update below.) Who says there is no hope for peace in...
No Arab, Palestinian Cheers for U.S. Democrats (6616 Hits)
By Nicola Nasser Arabs, at least at the non-official level, were quick to hail President George W. Bush’s mid-term electoral defeat and the...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top