An exceptionally large number of Arab artists responded to the appeal from the Institute for Palestine Studies. They heeded the call from Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad, Amman, Damascus, Manama, Dubai, and Jerusalem (Palestine’s occupied capital), as well as from Haifa, Ramallah, Gaza, Geneva, Berlin, Paris, New York, and Washington. The reaction was especially significant, since it was the second such appeal in the span of three years. Still, the artists responded with alacrity, donating their artistic creations to sustain a cultural event to take place in Washington. They did so in support of Palestine, Palestinians, and the Palestinian cause; and they did so in demonstration of the fact that Palestine has friends and supporters the world over.
This overwhelming response arose from a sense of duty toward one of the most reputable and established research institutes in the world, this institute, whose mission consists of defending the Palestinian and Arab cause—armed only with rigor, reliability, and independence. Once again, the Institute has made common cause with artists, forging solidarity between artists, researchers, intellectuals, and academics in order to uphold the values of our institute—justice, chief among them.
The artwork that has been contributed to this exhibition has exceeded those assembled for our first exhibition in Beirut in 2018, which was titled Keyword: Palestine. The positive and overwhelming response from over one hundred Arab artists has rendered this one of the most significant Palestinian and Arab cultural events in the United States in recent times. We sincerely hope that this exhibition will resonate widely, to the benefit of the Institute for Palestine Studies and the Palestinian cause.
Over the past two years, the art world has lost three pioneering Palestinian artists: Kamal Boullata, Vladimir Tamari, and Samir Salameh. While these towering figures cannot be replaced, we are comforted by the continued presence of their successors, artists who are keenly aware of the centrality of art to the broader cultural sphere. Many of these men and women have contributed their works to IPS, and their artistic creations can be found between the covers of this book.
We at IPS know that the overwhelming support we have received is due to the awareness of the pioneering role that we have played in the United States in the areas of research and documentation, and in forging an intellectual link between Palestine and the world.
Despite the challenges we face and the financial difficulties that intensify on a yearly basis, as sources of funding continue to decline, we have pledged to maintain our independence with the help of our friends and allies all over the world.
Your support and solidarity give us the confidence to believe that intellectual, academic, and cultural activity in support of Palestine can overcome all obstacles in its path.
Director General – Beirut