Cities in the Heart: Names and Letters
The Museum of the Palestinian People, Washington, DC
Open Saturdays beginning on May 1, 12:00 to 18:00
A virtual tour is available at https://mpp-dc.org/TourSupport/?entry=2
Cities in the Heart is a personal and moving exhibition of Arabic calligraphy works by Nawaf Soliman that introduces Palestinian cities in a creative, artistic manner. The exhibition allows visitors to explore Palestine through its cities in works that reflect and evoke feelings of nostalgia and a longing for home. In each piece, Soliman combines several styles of Arabic calligraphy, including Thuluth (LetterCut), SpongePen (which he invented), Diwani, Kufic, Persian Nasta’liq, and Andalusian scripts. Soliman modified these scripts to fit his interpretation of the history of these cities, creating a stunning, intimate, and emotional journey through Palestinian cities.
Displaced from his small village (Aqraba) as a child, Nawaf has spent his entire life searching for a home, as he has been repeatedly displaced due to conflict. His artistry brings together Arabic poetry, the history and architecture of numerous cities, and the feelings that these cities evoke in their visitors to create truly compelling works of art.
The virtual tour includes four segments of 360-degree tours of exhibition spaces and allows visitors to see all paintings online, including some in animated videos that show how the words are written.
Click on any painting to view its details. A short video in which Nawaf speaks about his life explains the philosophy behind his engagement in calligraphy and shows how he uses various pens to create special effects. The video is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zu9hIptVKU.
The paintings can be purchased on canvas or as posters in various sizes at https://museum-of-the-palestinian-people.myshopify.com/collections/home-decor-and-art.
The Museum of the Palestinian People will reopen on May 1 after an extended closure due to COVID-19. Plan a visit if you’re in Washington, DC. We would love to see you in person. Order tickets for guided tours at https://mpp-dc.org/visit/.