Ein Fawwar, Al-Kauthar، Photocollage, 96” x 96”, 2015
A large hand-cut collage consisting in photographs I took during the three years I lived in the West Bank. Ein Fawwar is a natural spring near Jericho, mentioned in the Bible, whose waters fed Herod's pleasure palace. Today, Ein Fawwar is one of the last nature retreats accessible to Palestinians in the West Bank, where they can escape the bustle and dust of cities like Ramallah for swimming and recreation (although the spring is run by the Israeli park service and is surrounded by strategically positioned settlements). Al Kauthar, which means "spring" or "abundance،" is the title of the shortest verse in the Qur'an, which describes the bounty of God's gift of paradise to humankind. At the center of the work is a photograph of the spring’s source, still surrounded by a circular Roman wall; the collage radiates out from this center in concentric circles moving geographically northward from the spring to Jericho, to the hills and city of Ramallah, to the refugee camps of Al-Amary and Qalandya, to the garbage-filled no man’s land along the segregation wall, to Jerusalem, lying just beyond the wall. Allegorically, the radiation out from the center traces salvific history from creation to the fall, through the rise of civilization to Armageddon. Anthropologically, the radiation traces the emergence of humanity out of animality, from the fabrication of the first tools to the agricultural revolution, from the establishment of the first cities up to the present day destruction of the Ramallah hills and life under the occupation.