Naqas

ناقصNaqas

In April 2011, I was forced to leave my home in Damascus because of growing civil unrest in Syria. (ناقص: incomplete) I abandoned my friends, my belongings and my life there, not knowing when, or if, I would return. (ناقص: lacking) My departure not only left me without a home, but it also limited my former home to that which I could experience through my memories and western media. (ناقص: wanting)

As I drifted from Syria to Nebraska to Europe to the East Coast, I collected every article written about Syria from the local newspaper: 128 in total. For five months -- the length of time during which I might have been allowed to return to Damascus -- I read of increasing death tolls, continued government crackdowns and spreading fear. The articles served as a way to count the passing days and document the growing distance -- both physical and emotional -- between myself and my home. I aimed to redirect the negativity of the articles by altering them. With a black sharpie I turned the death tolls and news of government crackdowns into poems of hope and resistance. The resulting works, while remaining predominantly obscured, provide a glimpse of something more than mere fact.

Mounted on matboard and displayed in entirety, the articles convey the overwhelming and confusing task with which I was faced when leaving Damascus. They simultaneously conceal and reveal, pull back and jump forward. They are a documentation of my love for what once was, my disappointment with what is and my hope for what might be.