Art General, Culture and Religion, Flight of Horace, illustration, People and Blogs, Uncategorized
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Ani y Catrina – Acrylic ink on papyrus (all rights reserved Mohammed Shamma)

I painted this piece for #Inktober and Dia de Los Muertos. I had originally wanted to call this the Book of the Dead meets the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) but that seemed like a mouthful.  And as I worked on it, I began to feel like the piece was more than just a mashup of the two traditions.

In this scene, Ani (a nobleman from Egypt in the 19th Dynasty – 1250 BCE) is escorting Catrina (see La Calavera Catrina) to the weighing of her heart.  The god Anubis presides over the scale that measures the weight of her heart to that of a feather.

The hieroglyphic text comes from Spell 30b of the Book of the Dead.  The most famous version of the Book of the Dead is The Papyrus of Ani (British Museum, London).  Here is the English translation:

O my heart of my mother! O my heart of my mother! O my heart of my different forms! Do not stand up as a witness against me, do not be opposed to me in the tribunal, do not be hostile to me in the presence of the Keeper of the Balance, for you are my ka which was in my body, the protector who made my members hale. Go forth to the happy place whereto we speed, do not make my name stink to the Entourage who make men. Do not tell lies about me in the present of the god. It is indeed well that you should hear!
                  — Book of the Dead, spell 30B

Here is a partial Spanish translation (of the English translation) which I used in the painting:

Oh Osiris, el escriba Ani dice: “Mi corazón, corazón de mi madre. Mi corazón, el corazón de mi madre, corazón de mi existencia!. No puede incurrir en ninguna resistencia sobre mí en mi juicio.”

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Ani y Catrina workspace (for perspective)

 

Ani y Catrina

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People and Blogs

Me in Maamourah - 1982

An excerpt from my latest blog post for the Beacon Broadside (courtesy of Beacon Press), an online venue for essays, news items, and dispatches from respected writers, thinkers, and activists about our times.

“The last time Ramadan and the World Cup crossed paths was in 1986 and 1982 respectively. I’ll never forget the summer of 1982. I was in Egypt, visiting my father’s family on a much-delayed bereavement trip. My father had died of cardiac arrest in October of 1981. We buried him in a Muslim cemetery in Houston, Texas and had to wait eight months before we could visit our relatives in Cairo. Those eight months were tough on me, a nine-year-old boy who just lost his father, soccer coach, and mentor.”

(Read more at BeaconBroadside.com)

Healing in Ramadan

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People and Blogs, Watercolor

I took this photo on a trip to France in 2004.  I thought I took a color version as well, but when I returned home, I couldn’t find one.  Now, ten years later, I find myself obsessively wanting to remember the place in color as I had experienced it.  So I did the next best thing, I painted it in color as I remembered it.

Place du Marché au Bois

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People and Blogs

Have a real conversation with Dad.  Give him Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy for Father’s Day  

My father before kids

Ever wonder what your father was thinking?

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People and Blogs

Here’s a copy of the post I wrote for RadBrownDads (Tumblr).  Thanks Ahmed Ali Akbar!

Spiderman and Grizzly

My dad was a proud hard-working man. Back in the seventies, he worked as a food chemist for a very large beverage corporation. He took great pride in his work and often encouraged his team to refrain from using artificial preservatives in their products. His claim to fame was a lemon juice (Read more)

Spiderman and Grizzly on RadBrownDads (via Tumblr)

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