“Between Water and Oil: A Couch” Gallery Captures Palestinian Heritage

Birzeit University hosted “Between Water and Oil: A Couch” (Bayn al-Zayt Wal Ma’, Kanaba), a gallery that celebrates Palestinian heritage and culture, on October 9. The gallery, presented by the Beaux-Arts group Bait Al Fan (House of Art), vividly portrays the Palestinian lifestyle, customs, and traditions.

Bait Al Fan, led by the well-known artist Mo’een Hassouneh, are a self-described “band of artists in training who are on their way to becoming professionals”

The artists used water and oil – hence the name of the gallery – to bring to life the scenes of Palestinian men and women, clad in traditional Palestinian attire, working in groves of olive and apple trees.

Mr. Abdallah Al-Masa’eed, one of the contributing artists, described the gallery as “an interpretation of Palestinian art and literature meeting culture and lifestyle, an attempt at an encompassing vision.” He added, “There was no specific goal or aim to the gallery other than to showcase our true roots and values. It was the combination of abstract thought and academic-painting methods.”

The paintings that the group exhibited at the gallery included illustrations of Palestinian men dressed in folkloric attire and portrayals of serene and quiet Palestinian villages, as well as depictions of Palestinian women picking olives in the sunshine and a portrait of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

A Birzeit alumnus himself, Mr. Al-Masa’eed took pride in the university’s status as a bastion of the arts in Palestine, and commended its role in the continued support of Palestinian art and artists throughout its lifetime.

The gallery will be held on display in the hall of the Arts Faculty for four days, until Thursday, October 12.