Hala Al Khalifa’s She Wore Her Scars like Wings, 13 shows us the joint of a wing with feathers falling to the side, almost like rain, putting out a fire shown raging inside. The image is also a heart, an open wound in the chest, blood red, darkened with shadows of interiority, an organ or organs with their rawness displayed to the world. As in Surat al-Inshirah (or al-Sharh) in the Qurʾan, Al Khalifa shows us the heart opened to relieve human suffering and make hardship not only bearable but easy. Here the heart with its throbbing pain is soothed in the hands of angels, taking flight, or wing, despite—or because of—its suffering. Ibn ʿArabi (1966: 119–25) wrote of the heart as a place where opposites meet, but also as the seat of creativity and imagination...
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Ellen McLarney; Cover Art Concept. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 July 2019; 15 (2): 235–236. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15525864-7491143
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