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Kãf-Ha-Ya-'Aĩn- Ṣãd (2020)

UNESCO has adopted a resolution proclaiming the 18th of November as International Day of Islamic Art. I am honored to have been chosen to create a unique piece of art to commemorate this very important day.


It is only befitting that I chose my muse to be the date palm tree.

Dates have been the staple food of the Middle East and its region for thousands of years. The palm has been represented artistically and in many artifacts of connecting civilizations.

Dates are symbolic of life and fertility. For local civilizations such as the Babylonians and Assyrians, the date palm was considered as the Sacred Tree connecting heaven, represented by the crown of the tree, and earth, the base of the trunk.


Dates have been significant in many religions including Islam, Christianity and Judaism. In the holy Quran, they are mentioned numerous times.

I was touched by Surah Maryam where it says:

Then the pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She cried, “Alas! I wish I had died before this, and was a thing long forgotten!”


So a voice reassured her from below her, “Do not grieve! Your Lord has provided a stream at your feet”

And shake the trunk of this palm tree towards you, it will drop fresh, ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink, and put your heart at ease.

From this I envisioned the palm tree as a female, abundant in fertility providing nourishment to her children, the children of this World.


The bisht I have created is an homage to her. It is adorned with over 2000 date seeds creating an armor around her, and the spine is made of date palm leafs. She is the symbol of purity, strength, power and peace. She is a warrior, forever protecting humanity.

at The Bahrain National Museum
detail of date seeds
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