BZU Museum with the Arab Cultural Association presents the opening event of the exhibition “Selections of Eternal Rhythms” featured in al Madina Festival for Cultural and Arts featuring selected works of the late Palestinian artist Tawfik Abdul ‘Al. This is one kind of return for the Abdul ‘Al family to their home of Akka and will feature a discussion with Tarek Abdul ‘Al, the late artists son.
Bringing Part of “Eternal Rhythms” Home: Tawfik Abdul- Al and Return
Rana Barakat, Birzeit University Museum
Birzeit University, Palestine
It is our pleasure as Birzeit University Museum to be a part of the magical event of celebrating Tawfik Abdul Al’s art’s return home in the events and display taking place in his home town of Akka from 14th of December to the 28th of December in partnership with the Arab Cultural Association. Along with Tarek Abdul-Al (Tawfik’s son), we worked together to help bring
Tawfik Abdul-Al’s work home. Born in Akka, Tawfik Abdul-Al was a Palestinian plastic artist whose work and artistic representation never left the home he was denied in 1948. Though the artist has passed on, his return, through his art work, is happening. This return is part of a Palestinian people’s ongoing return.
On Monday, the 2nd of March 2020, Birzeit University Museum opened the exhibit “Eternal Rhythms,” honoring the work of Tawfik Abdul-Al. This exhibit, that was curated by Nasser Soumi and first held in Dar al Nimr in Beirut, fantastically debuted in Palestine at BZU Museum through the work of Nasser Soumi, Tarek Abdul-Al and the team at BZU Museum under the
leadership of the former director, Dr Nazmi Jouba. Bringing the exhibit from Beirut to BZU Museum was the first station of return for Tawfik Abdul-Al, either as original pieces or as high quality reproductions that were carefully followed by BZU Museum’s Ziad Hajali. The journey of the art work represents how fabulous Palestinian adventures are - return through all the means available to us as a people. Tawfik Abdul-Al represents an important part of the Palestine plastic art movement and, as such, celebrating this exhibit at BZU Museum has been a foundational learning tool for our university community. Bringing the artist home through his work was part of this political pedagogical praxis. During the run of the exhibit, the space of the BZU Museum gallery transported us to Akka — Tawfik Abdul-Al’s Akka. That art can transport in this way is one of the wonders of Abdul-Al’s magic and it is a magic that is ongoing.
On the occasion of the exhibition at BZU Museum, Tareq Abdul-Al donated the works of his father to our art collection
in the hope that Tawfik Abdul-Al’s art will continue to teach in Palestine, well beyond the event of the exhibition. That BZU Museum can be a part of helping facilitate Abdul-Al’s return through lending pieces in our art collection is further implementation of this hope. Working closely with Tareq Abdul-Al and with our friends in the Arab Cultural Association,
BZU Museum is proud to be a part of the ongoing hope. In December 2021, parts of the exhibition “Eternal Rhythms” have returned to Akka. This return is part of Palestinian ongoing return, and is a powerful symbol of the endless possibilities of hope.