Sunday, November 25, 2007


Well… well, I know I’ve been busy and lazy to post. Many things happened these passing days from important reports on the news to the insignificant chitchats here and there. Between my MBA and the institute of Art, between inventing time to submit assignments and seeking time to find serenity to start new paintings, between house chores and social activities, the bottom line you’re looking for is “Attawie is confused”. I have so many dreams and so many plans to fulfill and I need to get them into implementation phase. When and how is the real matter.

New room
My grandfather is staying with us. He spent the last year in Jordan without residency. Still we’re not sure about how long he will stay here. But the reason why I mentioned it is that I gave him my room and move to the smaller one. I had a week planning to manage the “move out” and spend only few hours to move.

After I said goodbye to my old room and bathroom I had to make my new room familiar. I had to get used to the idea of the smaller space and how to deal with it.

I moved everything but I left the bedside and painting tools. My grandpa paints too.
My mother gave the couch and the chair for charity. She promised to give it away but it was months before my grandpa’s plan to come.

Lately, I’m not painting much. I’m only preparing for my first personal ceramic exhibition. I still have ideas to execute and so much work to do the finishing touches. I finished 21 pieces so far. And I need at least 20. but the idea won’t be complete unless I finish at least another 5 pieces.

I attended a presentation by the artist Douglas Grenville and a workshop at the evening. I learned his technique and it seems easy to apply. But he uses acrylic colours only. I use oils and sometimes watercoloures.

MBA news
On the same day that I attended the presentation and the workshop at the art institute I had to run to the University yet for another workshop. It was a JPP (Joint Project Planning) workshop for PM course (Project Management). I was assigned as a delegate and I was in charge of the COS (conditions of satisfaction) and POS (Project overview Statement). Not that hard job but I had to write every single word of the project on the board. After I finished all my team members thanked me. And one of my colleague told me that I’ll make a good team leader and another told me I’ll make a good teacher!

My Readings
I’m about to finish reading Nietzche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. I’m still neutral to the subject. One line I completely agree with him and others I just think of the nonsense he’s talking about.

I finished reading the Epic of Gilgamesh by Taha Baqir. I’ve read the first part of it (Gilgamesh & Inkido) in English, and the short modern version in Arabic. But this edition is different. It belongs to one of my colleagues who gave it to my mentor Wissam Al Haddad(who had a ceramic exhibition Gilgamesh: wings of mud and fire). I was supposed deliver the book but I couldn’t resist the temptation of reading it. I finished the book within maximum 12 hours. It’s one of the huge ones but it captivated me. I forgot the surrounding world and flied centuries back. I even had two dreams of Khumbaba (The creature Gilgamesh & Inkido slaughtered).

I finished six mini books from the Penguin 60’s Classics. Among them: Plato’s Phaedrus, Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of three renaissance artists ( Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo), and Jane Austen’s unfinished novel in the form of letters, the history of England.

I thought the new room would give me more time to post and take care of my blog. But I’m not sure. My uncle’s family will come next month just few days after my final exams. And I have to write my theses proposal. And still have the finishing for my exhibition. I don’t know how I will manage. Time will tell us all about it.

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Blogger David said...

Attawie, you may be the busiest person that I have ever known! Well, busy can be good if you are enjoying everything that you are doing, and it seems that you are. :)

The art of Grenville is interesting. I sometimes like abstract imagery. I have looked at his three galleries. All his works seem rather dark. The colors are mostly dark, but I mean more that their mood is dark. I suppose that I prefer lighter images. He says that he rarely uses a brush. I used to watch a very good artist who had a TV show. He would paint a new picture every week in a half hour. It was really fascinating to watch him work. He often used steel tools to apply his paint. They were like what I would call putty knives, but I don't know what an artist would call them. He had various tools with different lengths of straight edges for applying paint. He would sort of wiggle the tool around to achieve the shape he wanted. He was a landscape artist and his works were amazing! His name was Bob Ross. During his show, he would often say, "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents." :) You can check him out at these web sites:

You certainly read a wide variety of books! I'll bet you are a fast reader. I have always been a rather slow reader. However, I have always loved reading good stories. I have a sizable collection of fiction. It is mostly science fiction with some fantasy. I have heard of the epic of Gilgamesh. The story was recounted by a character in a Star Trek Episode. Interesting, I see that the Star Trek reference is detailed in the link you provided. :)

I am very impressed by the work of Wissam Al Haddad! You are very lucky to have such a talented sculpter as your mentor. His web site is quite well designed. I really like being able to click on a thumbnail and get a very detailed larger image.

I see that you like the work of Jane Austen. I have seen several movies based on her books. I really enjoyed the stories, even though a lot of the characters lives were tormented. Some day, I think that I will try to read one or more of her books.

Good luck with all your projects. I hope you can find a little time for your friends too. :)

11/25/2007 10:55 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

David, I’m glad to say I’m enjoying my “busyness” if that’s a word. I remember how I spent my days after graduation. they were my dullest days ever. I had nothing to do. I was a new comer in the UAE, no friends. I spent my nights up and the days asleep. I literally wasted my time.
Keeping myself busy helped me to sleep better. I even eat better when I’m busy.

About art and Grenville, I like the techniques he uses but I don’t relate to his paintings. Just like you, I prefer lighter images and even more colourful.

Me a “fast reader”! I wish. I was a fast reader with Gilgamesh first because I read the short epic and I know every single detail about it. Second I read the English edition. Third I had to give the book back in a couple of days. And fourth, which is the most important; the book was in Arabic, which lead us to “I am a fast reader in ARABIC”

The wide variety of books is the best thing one can do. I don’t believe in sticking to one genre. Even when I don’t like the book I read it. At least it’s good to have an idea about things you don’t like. I used to like Latin-American novels. They give a historical, social, personal, and psychological portrait for their characters and make them feel like real people living with us. Take Isabel Allende for example, and her Portrait in Sepia or The house of the Spirits... Oh God sometimes I forget how I love literature.

Have you read the CV of Wissam al Haddad? He’s a genuine artist. He spent his entire life studying art and making great art pieces. He’s a great mentor.

11/27/2007 5:38 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/27/2007 5:39 PM  
Blogger David said...

Sorry I am late to answer your question Attawie. I read the CV of Wissam Al Hadad. He has certainly earned a great many accolades! Well, I think they are all well deserved. He is a very talented artist! I looked again at his galleries. This time I was studying the shapes and forms of his calligraphy. I have seen some pictures of Arabic calligraphy in old and famous mosques. Wassam's art is very similar. I really like #120 in the 2003 gallery. The piece seems alive and ready to walk about. :) Can you tell me what the calligraphy says?

I think that calligraphy is an interesting art form. I once had the pleasure of watching a Japanese exchange student to my university perform some calligraphy. She was very skilled, although she claimed her ability was not very good. Japanese people tend to be very modest and understate their talents. They don't like to stand out in a group. They like to see themselves as part of a group, not as individuals. Anyway, it was amazing to watch her as she made very precise movements of her brush onto the paper. Even the way she dipped her brush was very ritualized. On another day, she performed the Japanese Tea Ceremony. That was a real treat for my eyes! Again, all her movements very very carefully choreographed and precise.

12/01/2007 11:23 PM  
Blogger tbaker13 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/11/2008 11:07 AM  
Blogger unknown said...

attawi...are you related to taha baqir?

11/11/2008 11:21 AM  
Blogger attawie said...

No, Unknown. I'm not related to taha baqir.


11/11/2008 3:36 PM  
Blogger unknown said...

o ok...i thought i had a long lost relative i didn't know about loll

11/11/2008 8:52 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

So you're his relative?

No, I guess I'm not a cousin but somehow we're all cousins in this world :)

I'm very interested in archaeology. Been to many places and I'm a big fan of museums. Read so many editions of Gilgamish but a big fan of his edition. Plus the sixteen attached translations.

11/11/2008 9:59 PM  
Blogger unknown said...

wow thats great its nice to hear you are so interested in the epic of was my favorite bedtime story lol...and yes i am his grandson although i have never met him i have heard many very interesting stories about him and read some of his literature and seen some of his interviews..goodluck with your mba!

11/11/2008 10:13 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

Oh.. then we're from the same home town! Dad met him and has the pleasure of enjoying an evening with him. Please keep in touch. here's my email


11/11/2008 11:43 PM  

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