Posted by: r.m. | September 23, 2009

Ararat … and Palestine

I just returned from the opening night of a moving photographic exhibit: Eleven News of Mount Ararat by Gilbert Hage ( All the pictures were beautiful, and some were quite moving.  If you’re in Lebanon, check it out.

The idea was quite simple:  Where, in the homes of (some) Armenian-Lebanese, is the symbol of the return, of home, placed? Where is the photo or painting of Mount Ararat placed?

The pictures were sincere, and hopeful, and let one to contemplate home..and exile..and hope…

So, naturally, I thought of Palestine.

What would a photo exhibit of the symbol of Palestine in the homes of Palestinians in Lebanon look like? What is that symbol of Palestine?

Initially – and quite stereotypically – I thought of the key. The key to the home from which the family was forced away, to the home that they have a rightful claim, to the home that they have a legal right to return.

But, what would the photos look like if each Palestinian family were asked to show their own symbol of Palestine?

I was asking a friend this very question, and she told me that the symbol of Palestine in her home is the copper coffee pot that her family took with them when they were forced from their home. (Her father was only 7.)

A coffee pot.

Why a coffee pot, I asked.  Probably because it was the oldest possession they had in the house, she said.

So, I wonder about that photo exhibit. Anyone interested?

(p.s., once again: such similarities between Armenian and Palestinian families. not surprisingly)


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