“Hiraeth – (n). A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.” This was printed on a card, hung next to Palestinian artist Ruba Salameh’s two paintings.

On both paintings portraits of two women with sorrowful, yet restrained facial expressions which welcomed visitors to the Manam exhibition. Manam, part of the Qalandiya International Festival 2014, was an exhibition held in early November and organized by the Arab Culture Association in their newly acquired center in Haifa.

The exhibition incorporated various Palestinian artists who worked on the concept of Palestinian dream (“manam”).

“When the Arab Culture Association approached me to curate the exhibition, I came up with the idea to talk about ‘manam’, the dream, a sleeping coma, which has more meaning than just a dream,” explains exhibition curator Rula Khoury.

Spanning different mediums such as paintings, installations, video, sound and sculptures, the exhibition concept centered on the Palestinian narrative which, according to the Qalandiya program, is attempting “to document an alternative Palestine, one which lives in people’s minds”.

And, indeed, as one passed through the dark hallways and show rooms, stopping at each art work, the viewer was granted a moment to glance at the artists’ deepest part of mind, into their most intimate dreams, fears, and longings.

Continue reading and view the art, at the Alternative Information Center (AIC)