Curry Speaks

BRITTANY JENNINGS // FEB. 24, 2012 //  

“Painting in the Margins” is an event Curry College is hosting on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the Hafer Parents Lounge at 7 p.m. It will feature Thaer Abdallah, a Palestinian artist and human rights activist who grew up in Iraq.

As a Palestinian in Iraq, he isn’t free, and he doesn’t have citizenship. There, he says he has feared kidnapping, torture, imprisonment and assassination all of his life. While living in Iraq, Abdallah was a victim of torture. Since then, he helped guide many threatened Palestinian families out of Iraq to live in a refugee camp in Syria.

Finding peace in paiting, Thaer Abdallah works in his Dorchester gallery. // PHOTO COURTESY OF THAER ABDALLAH

Helping others became a passion and he soon began working on behalf of the refugees. Even though he was helping out others who were also living in fear, Abdallah says Syrian police put him in prison, tortured him and deported him back to Iraq, from where he eventually fled again and ended up in the United States.

Abdallah had drawn and painted since he was a child. Now, he uses art to express an opinion and his emotions. He believes painting gives him strength and peace, and is inspired by his former community in Baghdad to continue to paint. He has studied painting at the Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts and The Cambridge Center for Adult Education. His artwork has been shown all over Boston and he now has a studio in Dorchester.

I looked into his paintings and they are beautiful. His work shows a lot of detail, and they are also colorful and bright. As someone viewing his paintings, it feels as though you are there inside of it.

Curry’s Fine Arts, Applied Arts and the Politics and History departments will co-sponsor “Painting in the Margins: Displacement and the Refugee Experience.” Abdallah will speak at the event, take questions, and there will also be an exhibition of his paintings.

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