A few years ago, I made a short documentary on my friend and graphic novelist, Leila. It was a part of an ongoing mini-documentary series I’m doing just for fun, called Creatives Around Me.
At the time, Leila was writing a graphic novel called Baddawi about her father’s childhood as a Palestinian refugee. She had just gotten an online book deal.
Three years later, not only is it published as a physical book and then translated into Korean (of all languages), it has also now given Leila a solo exhibit at the Arab American National Museum in Michigan. It's called, Drawing in the Diaspora. And the museum has included my video as well.
It's really incredible to see how far she’s come with something that she started as a hobby.
So this Saturday, November 12 the exhibit opens and stays on until April 19, 2017.
I highly recommend checking out her book Baddawi. It’s beautifully composed, and this is a very young artist’s debut work! And it may just reveal to you your shocking ignorance on the struggles of Palestinians. And humanize that struggle. Well, at least it did for me.
Especially in these times, with our shocking new president elect, this is the kind of reading that will remind us humans are humans, struggles are struggles, and empathy is crucial, regardless of origin and race.