Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Madi 18x24 Oil on Canvas

This painting is dedicated to uncle Madi, and his wife. Uncle Madi, best know as Ammi Madi (Uncle Madi in Arabic), was an 84-year old uncle to all of us in the Khayat family. I think of him, and I remember an old man with a young man's spirit, running everywhere, full of laughter, and - full of life.

The painting depicts his house in Moshav Ya'ra adjacent to the Lebanese border. In this backyard we used to sit every time we visited him. He used to be so energetic, even after he turned 80. I remember during our visits to Ammi, he would suddenly disappear, reappearing five minutes later after visiting a nearby orchard, holding whatever he could bring, some figs, fruit, and eggs from his neighbor's chicken.

Ammi Madi died in the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war. The old man refused to leave his house, refused to run away and hide. The sirens went off and he was just outside his kitchen standing at the southern entrance of the house, a rocket hit the area nearby and shrapnel went flying everywhere...his wife came out of the kitchen and saw Ammi Madi covered with blood after a shrapnel punctured his old wrinkly neck...few steps he took before he collapsed dead at the entrance to his house.

Last time I visited the house, it was empty, the backyard was still there, frozen in time, with the hot sun finding its way in between the grape leaves desperately trying to provide some shade to the area, the side door to the house was locked, and all I could hear was dead sad silence...we miss you Ammi.