About this piece:
Certain stories deserve to be buried and laid to rest.This book is in honor of the untold stories immigrants keep from their children. There are some stories immigrants find too difficult to pass down to the next generation, and this book honors that individuals emotional agency over such events in their lives. There have been many times where I have asked family members about their upbringing in their homeland, and while some moments are easy to share, some are not. It is my job to respect that decision because that individual deserves to be at peace with their reality and what may have happened to them.
Within the book, I have lightly laser-engraved a “poem” to my mother about her stories, requesting her to pass them on to me before time is up. The text is in Arabic, but translates to:
Before the dirt veils your body,
Do you remember the stories of your mother?
The stories of your country?
Or did you bury them before you moved?
Are they heavy?
Do you feel that they are too heavy for me to carry? Oh Mother!
You held me in your womb without question.
Do me a favor.
Carry your stories.
Before the dirt veils your body.
paper, ink, birch
About the artist:
Zeinab Saab received her BFA in Printmaking from Bowling Green State University in 2015. She is currently a second year MFA Candidate at Northern Illinois University, continuing her practice in printmaking. Her work focuses on the terminology used within bookmaking and its ties to the body is a relationship, and discusses specific points within Islamic history, practice, and philosophies in regards to the body and spirit.