Patrons interested in donating artifact(s) to help illustrate or interpret the Arab American experience, please click here.

Doris Bittar Triptych

Doris Bittar TriptychThis triptych (three joined canvases) was done in oil paint by acclaimed artist Doris Bittar in 1991. It’s entitled You Open Your Eyes Under the Oblivious Sun of the West and it measures 72 inches by 144 inches. Bittar’s ethnic background (born in Iraq to Lebanese parents) inspires and informs her work. This piece marks one of her first uses of Arabic calligraphy and abstract imagery. The triptych was donated by Manal Swairjo of San Diego, California.



New to the AANM collection is artist Kinda Hibrawi’s 36”x36” painting, Lebanon, which she created to help support UNICEF’s Lebanon relief efforts. The painting’s calligraphy is taken from the song by Majidah Al Roumi Ya Beirut Sitt Al Dunia (Beirut Lady of the World), written by the Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani. The quote Hibrawi chose translates as "Beirut will rise from under the rubble like an almond bud." Hibrawi grew up in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and the U.S. She currently commissions paintings at the Chiarini Gallery in Santa Ana, CA.


Family PortraitsFamily Portraits

Earlier this year, Gregory Orfalea, director of the Center for Writing at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, donated to the AANM a series of five oil portraits painted by his paternal aunt, Jeannette Orfalea Graham, 96, of Woodland Hills, CA. Graham is a longtime artist and teacher who also founded a women’s clothing store chain. She and her five siblings grew up in Cleveland, OH in the early 20th century. Above right is a 1978 portrait of Graham’s mother, Nazera Jabaly Orfalea, as a young mother in typical garb of the period. Below left is a group portrait completed in 1980 of Nazera with young sons George and Aref, (the father of Gregory Orfalea) and daughter Jeannette (the artist) c. 1929.


World Peace

World PeaceMichigan-based artist Ilham Badreddine Mahfouz recently donated to the AANM this large, three-dimensional artwork she created in 2003. Entitled World Peace, it’s made from acid-free paper, black ink and metal mesh inside Plexiglas and contains the word “peace” written in calligraphy 13 times, each in a different language, English, Arabic, Chinese, Esperanto and Xhosa among them. Because of the size of this piece – 118” x 26.5” x 6” – the photo at right just doesn’t do it justice. See it for yourself in its singular setting, on the stairway between the Museum’s Main Floor and Lower Level.



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