Yusuf Abudi, 54, Clotilde Abudi’s second son, had set up a conference call with his mother and this reporter to tell her story. He says that everyone talks about Palestinians but do not necessarily ask them about themselves.
“And the narrative [is] always on the negative side of things, we’re either terrorists or bad people.” Yusuf says.
Frank Crowley, 77, Professor Emeritus at Gateway Community College in New Haven, said that the mixing of colors caught his eye.
“The quality of art comes from the earth, from the work of the farmer and it’s really what makes the human creative instinct so absolutely special,” Crowley said. “[There’s] an intricate thrill of seeing that kind of detailed work.”
Layale Chaker, 28, a Palestinian violinist from New York, said that the embroidery pieces represent a history that’s been passed down from generation to generation.
“It’s also a mark of feminine artisanship,” Chaker said. “When I see a piece, I see the tradition being passed on [and] the craftsmanship that comes with it. It’s testimonial, basically.”
Hani Shihada, 59, a well-known sidewalk artist from New York City, said that the exhibit reminded him of his mother. He expressed his love for the symmetry, colors, and composition of the work.
“I used to watch my mom doing [embroidery], that’s what really inspired me to become an artist,” Shihada said. “When she was doing that, she was in trance, in another world… she was immersed in it and forgot all her problems.”
All pictures are taken by Laura Al Bast