• re: Um Na’im


    Nada, this piece is stunning in its vibrance and conveyance of emotion. Before her photograph was published in the paper, following her son’s death, I see that she has experienced hardships requiring perseverance. Her expression is stern but her eyes are soft and moist. Beyond her pains she shows bravery to keep faith and humanity in her heart. I wonder what Um Na’im means. Is it her name? How do you think you would paint her now, after the loss of her son?
    • Hi Uji,

      Thank you for your feedback and question! 

      ‘Naeem’ is her son’s name which means ‘Paradise’ in Arabic, ‘Um’ means a ‘mother’. She is ‘mother of Naeem’. You can read more about this prefixed naming tradition in this link . 

      Actually, it’s worth saying that Naeem was not her real son, his mom died when he was a small child, his dad got remarried and Naeem got a new loving mom. He remained her only child, and she loved him as a son of her own.

      I’m still reflecting on your question about how I might paint her again.. I guess I would have liked to meet her again to see what her eyes might have said about life. Unfortunately, she passed away 3 years ago. 

      However, after I heard about her son’s death I went back to the painting and added this black brush stroke to the left side of the painting. As a symbol for her loss that will become imprinted in her identity.