Fall/Winter 2003 Issue: Volume 2, Issue 1
Artist Statement: In August of 2000 I traveled to Iraq at the request of Voices in the Wilderness and Veterans for Peace. The Iraqi Women's Federation sponsored my trip north to Mosul. There I met Neam Ahmad, a noted ceramic artist. Her ceramic works were so beautiful that I was searching for the appropriate complement and said, “Your work is so beautiful—it would sell well in the United States.” Her swift reply was, “It would sell well here if your country would stop bombing my country.” No one I know wants to drive Neam Ahmad into poverty or kill her, yet her home has cracks in the walls from missiles that have landed too close. We have been carefully taught that those who are outside our borders are not as human as we are and therefore not worthy of our attention or our caring. If her country’s leaders change, will she have changed into someone for whom we should care? Nothing in my relation to her will change. She will remain the same artist no matter what changes occur in either of our countries. She is a beautiful human being whose essential nature elicits my loving regard. It is my pleasure to present her with her Dove of Peace for you.