To H.E. Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, Founder of the Crossroads of Civilization Museum
I have attached my artwork showing Rembrandt-inspired cyberangels of peace on their virtual flight from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to the Crossroads of Civilization Museum in Dubai.
Please have it digitally printed out on paper or canvas as a new media artwork for your museum collection that links your museum to the Israel Museum’s Shrine of Book that houses the oldest copies of the Bible in its original Hebrew language.
It exemplifies your insightful article in the Jerusalem Post, “Why culture is vital in easing the path to peace” and your statement “It is our role to translate the peace deal into tangible outcomes through people-to-people connections” quoted in the Jerusalem Post article highlighting the shared history of Jews and Arabs.
My new media artworks are in the collections of more than thirty museums throughout the world, from Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, to Art Museum of The Hague in The Netherlands. I was art professor at Columbia University and universities in Israel, and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.
Before partaking of the Sabbath eve meal, Jewish families sing, “May your coming be for peace, Angels of Peace, angels of the Exalted One.” The song begins with the words shalom aleikhem (may peace be with you). Shalom aleikhem is the traditional Hebrew greeting when people meet. It is akin to the Arabic greeting salam aleikum. May the Hebrew Malakh Shalom and the Arabic Malak Salam be recognized as one and the same Angel of Peace.
I also propose that I collaborate with a UAE artist in creating an art exhibition at both the Crossroads of Civilization Museum and Ashdod Art Museum in Israel. I suggest calling the exhibition “Parentheses of the Middle East: From the Gulf to the Sea.” Dubai is the major UAE port and Ashdod is Israel’s major port city. Dr. Yehiel Lasry, the mayor of Ashdod, is negotiating to make Ashdod and Dubai sister cities.
Dr. Lasry is particularly happy today that Morocco has followed the lead of UAE in normalizing relations with Israel. He was born in Morocco and came to Ashdod when he was six. He studied medicine at Ben-Gurion University, was Surgeon-General of Israel’s navy, member of Knesset, and a founder of the Andalusian Orchestra that creates a cultural bridge between Israel and Arab countries. Its purpose is to enrich the musical and cultural dialogue between Israeli and Arab artists. (Disclosure: Yehiel Lasry is my son-in-law.)
Dr. Mel Alexenberg
Author of the highly acclaimed book Through a Bible Lens