How can something so beautiful be so heart-breaking?
I ask myself that each time I pick up Power Born of Dreams. Three times now I have read this book, admiring the stark beauty emanating from the pages of this work of art that Mohammad Sabaahneh has created. I learned the art of linocut when I was in school, but Mohammad has elevated the simple act of slicing shapes out of linoleum he cut into the history of his time as a political prisoner and the stories of Palestinians, living their lives under a brutal occupation, fenced in with electronic eyes watching them every day and night. These are stories of heartache and loss and of hope. These are some of the stories of Palestine.
It may be the fact that I grew up in South Africa during apartheid that makes me sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people. Having heard the stories from my friends and fellow South Africans of color of what they experienced the dehumanizing and degrading treatment at the hands of the white minority government has made me resolute in my opposition to oppression wherever it may occur.
In time I can see Mohammad Sabaahneh joining Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman and other cartoonists in the lists of those who have used their art to open the eyes of the world to the iniquities suffered by so many.