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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Brick Off the Wall

I returned to Tartous on a moonless night in early September. Physically I was exhausted from the tiring journey. Immanently my leave of absence was a voyage on the road to self discovery and the fulfilling of an amaranthine dream. The taxi drove through the deserted streets shortly before midnight. Through dopey eyes I fancied that the wrought iron fence around my city park was gone.

In the short spell before sleep prevailed I wondered whether it was just wishful thinking on my part. I hate barriers with a vengeance. Even picturesque picket fences in the countryside leave me with a foreboding feeling of oppression. Children need not grow up in the confines of a repressive home nor rot in the stifling outdoors. Inspirited men are not meant to go through life moving from a jail cell to a larger prison. Ardent women must not be incarcerated behind a thick veil of deistic benightedness. Parks should not be closed in and locked.


Sculpture by Ali Suleiman

The fence was gone, I was happy to see the next morning, and a sculpted hand holding a pencil was mounted on the eastern side of the park. The pencil poised to scribble on a blank slate fascinated me. I must admit that I do not find the art work exceptionally comely yet the sculpture had become a focal point of interest on my daily walk. I knew that something eventually will be engraved on the slate of rock and I hoped against hope that it won't be an adulterated slogan.

Two days ago I read at last, "Tartous: the Sea, the Plain and the Mountain, Free From Illiteracy 2010." I walked on, my swift gait livelier and my steadfast hope stronger. Another brick falling off the wall, I thought, ignorance, censorship and religious tyranny to follow in this part of the world; discrimination, racism, and domination to come to an end everywhere else.

9 comments:

BIL said...

It is amazing how we define ourselves by the confines in which we live. Be it a town, county, state country and yes, even the hemisphere. With those boundaries come the pre-judged notions (read prejudices) of what the people from that area are like. These thoughts are ever so present even from those who have not been there. When you see a wall come ever so slowly down as you elude, one brick at a time. If that can happen to something as benign as a structure to a point it eventually disappears, it could surely happen to us humans when eradicating the ignorance, censorship, discrimination, racism, and tyranny with a much greater outcome and hope. Art as an expression can be like our souls crying out for something better. Let us enjoy the art without the barriers and reach for that something better. BIL

Gabriela said...

Indeed, it was good that the fences were gone. That enormous hand with the pencil seems so welcoming. Could you translate what's written there for your readers?
All the best!

Isobel said...

Wow! This is fantastic, Abufares! Congratulations to you and to all of Tartous for eliminating illiteracy! :)

Gabriela said...

I forgot to mention that in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) tjhere is a huge, impressive sculpture of a pair of shoes. This big hand made me remember those shoes.

abufares said...

@BIL
Oh yes, we are born then grow up already guilt-ridden by the conscience of an ailing generation. It takes decades to tear down obsolete walls but alas we often commit ourselves to erecting new ones. In the 60's and 70's of the 20th century the collective human civilization took a giant step in eradicating the accumulated mistakes and injustices of centuries. It was a mulit-cultural civil effort which transcended boundaries and occurred despite of governments.
The early 21st century witnessed a reversed movement, supported by governmental/institutional meddling and funding to deepen the schism and legitimize a cultural divide, ultimately dubbed a Clash of Civilizations.
I hope THIS WALL of Domination and Apartheid (Yes there still is one Apartheid country after the demise of South African) falls soon for all of the human race to reclaim its oppressed potential.

abufares said...

@Gabriela
"Tartous: the Sea, the Plain and the Mountain, Free From Illiteracy 2010." This is the translation of the Arabic writing :-)
Shoes, Ah!!!
I wonder if anyone had thought of a giant bra sculpture. It would be so convenient to lie down in its shade on a hot summer day.

abufares said...

@Isobel
It is another small brick off the wall :-)
If we keep knocking them out, one at a time, it'll eventually crumble and fall. It might take time but with hope on our side we are invincible.

Gabriela said...

Shame on me! You've already had the text translated.
n.n

Karin said...

I hate walls as well, with a passion - any kind of fences, anything curbing freedom of movement!
Once, in 1970, I flew to Berlin to see the infamous wall. We climbed up the stairs to one of these platforms with a big binocular, looked through it, focused - and found myself starring into the face of one of the East-German soldiers who did the same, at the same time! I hopped back a step in shock, climbed downb the stairs - and left totally bewildered! I never forgot that moment ...

Listen to John Lennon's IMAGINE ... he had the right idea!