Kaaba - The Gift from Hijaz (Armaghan-e-Hijaz)

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Title: The Gift from Hijaz

Artist: Nadia Zeeshan

Description: 40 x 30 x 1.5 inches (H x W x D)
Painted on gallery wrapped stretched canvas with acrylic paint, ink. Beach sand and rocks hand plucked from the shores of Lake Huron, gesso, gel mediums and modeling paste have been used to add depth and texture.


The Gift from Hijaz”( Armaghan-e-Hijaz  Urdu:  ارمغان حجاز " ‎ ") by Nadia Zeeshan is inspired by the Renaissance ignited in “Hijaz” through the revelation of divinely ordained commandments.  The Revelation, which gave rise to modern civil concepts of human rights and equality by invoking collective civil conscience. Waves of change started to sweep over the land; and as they did they gave the voiceless a voice, the oppressed their freedom, denounced hierarchies and rejected aristocratic privileges all in one go. A new era had come and that era was gold with Kaaba symbolizing the glory. Sure, the message was from the Divine; and Prophecy, a means to deliver it. Yet the people of Hijaz were the ones who personified those traits and passed them on to the rest of humanity. Thus, “The Gift from Hijaz” impacted modern history and played an undeniable part in its evolution.

The title “The Gift from Hijaz”( Armaghan-e-Hijaz ) is borrowed from the poetry of Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a 19th century writer and philosopher whose work focused on the resurrection of a new renaissance.  In his words:

The melody that is departed may or may not return again;

A breeze from Hejaz may or may not blow again;

The days of this Faqir have come to an end;

 Another knower of secrets may or may not come


This art work is my attempt to paint those nostalgic emotions expressed by Iqbal in the lines above.
In the painting itself, the gold background depicts the golden Islamic era; the Kaaba, symbolizes the right path; and Arabic alphabets (“Huroof”  Urdu: “حروف”), reflect intellectual and spiritual growth. This artwork serves a reminder to encourage awareness in ourselves to the purpose of our existence both as individuals and social beings, which is what the Hijazi Movement was about.

Kaaba - The Gift from Hijaz (Armaghan-e-Hijaz)

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