A recollection of days gone by before Kuwait struck it rich with oil. Pearl diving is now just a highly respected folkloric celebration to remind the younger generation of the old days. Moonlight Fishing is a paean to a vanished tradition, a vanished resource.
Helen Zughaib was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived mostly in the Middle East and Europe before coming to the United States to study art. She received her BFA from Syracuse University, College of Visual and Performing Arts. She paints using gouache and ink on board, transforming her subjects into a combination of colors and patterns, creating a nontraditional sense of space and perspective.
Zughaib has exhibited widely in New York and the Washington D.C. area. Her paintings are included in more than 80 private and public collections, including the White House, World Bank, Library of Congress, United States Consulate General, Vancouver, Canada, American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and the Arab American National Museum in Detroit, Michigan. Most recently, she served as United States Cultural Envoy to the West Bank, Palestine.
Zughaib feels that her background in the Middle East allows her to approach the experiences she has in the U.S. in a unique way, remaining an observer of both the Arab and American cultures. She believes that the arts are one of the most important tools we have to help shape and foster dialogue and positive ideas about the Middle East.
Hopefulness, healing, and spirituality, are all themes that are woven into her work.
Moonlight Fishing, 24 x 24, gouache on board, collection of Russ Conlan and Doug Hansen.
Mark DuCharme is the author of The Unfinished: Books I-VI (BlazeVOX, 2013), from which this poem is taken. His other books include Answer (2011) and The Sensory Cabinet (2007), both from BlazeVOX, as well as Infinity Subsections (Meeting Eyes Bindery, 2004) and Cosmopolitan Tremble (Pavement Saw, 2002). The Found Titles Project was published electronically in 2009 by Ahadada Books. His work has appeared widely, and is forthcoming in Literature of Our Climes (Steerage Press, 2015). He teaches rhetoric and other skills to undergraduates, agitates for adjunct faculty equity, tries hard to find time for everything he wants to do (a long list!), and lives in a state currently threatened by the subservience of both parties to oil and gas interests. He is known by some for his laugh.
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