.by Anura Guruge
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Saad & Hassan Hindal
Art from Memory
Iraqi Artists now living in Concord, NH.
Click to ENLARGE.
Father and son, Saad and Al (17) at their tent. The painting on the easel, with the school bus, painted by Hassan. I like that one TOO.
The painting I bought, or at least got. Haven’t paid for it yet, though it now hangs right by our front door.
THE picture, to the left, as it was hanging in the booth.
They were there last year too. I had seen their paintings and had liked them.
I, of course, stopped again this year, as soon as we got to the Mill. I spoke to the son, Hassan, and told him how much I liked the paintings.
Later on in the day, around noon, I went back to take a picture of the father and son. That was the picture at the top. The father was seated.
I told Hassan to tell his father how much I liked all the paintings, but the nude in particular and how I would buy it if I had the money.
Hassan translated. The dad told him something back, and both their faces lit up in smiles.
He tells me that his Dad has said: ‘Take it. Pay when you have the money‘!
I was shocked. They didn’t know me from Adam. That was an amazing gesture. There was no time period mentioned. Just unconditional goodwill.
With close to 38 years of marriage experience under my belt, I am savvy enough to know that you don’t buy a painting, especially a nude, without at least mentioning it to the wife. So, I explained that and we left. Devanee was with me and she was amazed.
When we told Deanna, we discovered that she too had seen the pictures and had liked that nude. Bingo. She too was amazed at this amazingly generous and brave gesture. She wanted me to get it.
So I went back and told them that I would come back at 4 pm, when the activities concluded. I wanted them to have it on display as long as they could. I think they were kind of surprised.
Just after 4 we all went to pick it up. Saad, in conjunction with Hassan, explained to us what the symbols meant. Some of them, like the cats and the 2nd from top symbol on the thigh denote good luck. Her lips are sealed about her prior life — but she is not a ‘virgin’. She is dreaming of another man. The fish skeleton and the whole fish indicate before-and-after.
It is vividly bright, very evocative, strangely compelling picture. We all love it.
I plan to pay for it at the end of this month. To be fair, it is not much — and many would find it amusing that I actually don’t even have that much in liquid cash. It is the first ‘original’ I have bought in decades!
We are truly honored that Saad trusted us and of course, we will not let him down.
Moreover, he now has a AVID supporter for life. Of course I am going to promote their work.
Not only do we like their art, we think they are remarkable people.
They have been living in Concord for 3 years. Hassan goes to highschool there. Saad has three other children, another son and two daughters.
We plan to visit their inhome gallery and do a longer interview. Also take some more pictures.
So stay tuned.
IF you are interested in their work, in particular their paintings, contact me (see sidebar) and I will put you in touch with them.
Their trust and generosity reminded me of an incident from 44 years ago, i.e., 1969, which also involved a person from the Middle East. I had just started at ‘Mill Hill’, the private school in London I was consigned to when I turned 16. There was a fair number of foreigners at ‘Mill Hill’. Most of us, who were new at the school and were foreigners had a fairly torrid time from the locals. But we weathered it. We were allowed to walk down to Mill Hill village three or four times a week. I was at the village and was buying an ice cream when I saw one of the other foreigners. He was older than me and bigger. He didn’t speak very good English at the time and I knew that he wasn’t too happy. On a whim I asked him if he would like an ice cream. He, of course, wanted one. So I got him one and handed it to him. It was just a cone. When he took it from me, I could see tears in his eyes. I asked him what was bothering him. He replies: ‘I have been in this country four months now, and this is the first thing somebody bought for me‘. Wow. I really didn’t know how to react. But, I can still remember that incident. Well yesterday, the shoe was on the other foot. I felt like the young man receiving the ice cream.