Monday, June 30, 2008

Rainbow Rock

"Look Mom, a rainbow rock!"
We'll be back in September with more art work of Hana.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Dentist

Hana is not just afraid of the dentist, she is terrified, mortified. When told that a dentist visit was imminent, you could find here at all moments of the day in the bathroom frantically brushing her teeth. Totday was D-Day. She cried and argued, and decided she'd be the last in the chair. But into the chair she went.
Clean bill, no cavities. "Oof, that was easy."
Until next year.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Some Arabic Art Work

School’s out, and a massive amount of art work came home today. MASSIVE! It is so much, there is no way I am going to document it all. It all came in this big fat file with this drawing on top; a girl with a balloon and some flowers. I am very pleased with the border she drew. At had her name too (more on that below). Her shoes have these little crossed bands on them. Exactly like the shoes (glittery gold with a purple butterfly and crossed bands) she picked out. A lot comes from her Arabic classes. Her Arabic is poor, as she hears little of it at home, and she has a distinct accent when pronouncing Arabic words, unlike her brother, who is fluent. But the teacher is making lots of effort to get this one into becoming a native speaker, through art.
The first set is obviously about emotions.The Lebanese flag. I like the notes she wrote on it. She can distinguish between written letters and numbers in both English and Arabic, and she recognizes French when it is spoken, but she also knows about signs for music. Practising her Arabic numerals

Then there are animals. I know about the giraffe, I heard her practice the word ‘giraffe’ in Arabic; sjeraffa. Obviously she reads about spiders and snakes and mice as well in Arabic. I cannot read the Arabic titles above the pictures. Maybe you can.A rooster and a hen with a nest of eggs, about to hatch (see the cracked lines?). Both birds have this fleshy thing hanging from their beaks. I am amazed at the details she puts into some of her pictures.This is her name in Arabic. Being the illiterate that I am, I never really got into writing my daughter’s name in Arabic. I assumed it was all the same. But just as there is a difference between Hana, Hanna and Hannah (not in sound though), there are differences in how you pronounce Hana in Arabic.So while the Arabic teacher assumed for two years that her name was Hanah, it was in fact, Hana. Yes, you see the difference? I don’t either. But the grandmother did. It is a question of emphasis, it seems. She picked up Hana from school one day, and Hana had her Arabic file with her, with her name incorrectly written (according to grandmother). So we changed all that. And now it is Hana, even in Arabic.
Here is the family. She sees the housekeeper as part of the family, which is probably a good thing, as the lady is with us just about the whole day.
Hana as a fairy (she says).
I told you it was a lot. And there was more. But that's enough. Probably no more postings until after the summer, which will be in September. Next year she is starting to learn how to write, her teacher told her. We'll probably be posting books by the end of next year.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Book for Hana

This would be a perfect book for Hana. She has an 'oma', and the oma quilts!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Portrait of My Mom

Hana had Celebration Day at her school.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


If you can do something that very few people can, then that is an art, no? Well, this morning, on our way to school, Hana showed me something she can do, and that I have never seen someone else do. I know that for a fact, because I can do it too, but I have never encountered anyone else who can do it. Okay, so maybe it is an odd thing. But it is an art form, and it is in her genes. She can stick her tongue in her nose. And so can I.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Father's Day

A card Hana made for Father's Day. Her Dad doesn't have any hair , but a slight stubble (in some places).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Hana is learning about nature and seeds in school. This is an observation of an avocado ('avovado' she calls it). She did not only drew the avocado, but also the whole process of the cutting it apart (complete with cutting line), and a top and a side view.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Nature Observations III

Part of the nature observation series..

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Nature Observations II

Part of the nature observation series..

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nature Observations I

Part of the nature observation series.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Nature Observations

Part of the nature observation series.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dwellings Part V: The Crumpled House

I thought of ironing this work before I take a picture of it, because I pulled it out of her school bag like this. But then I thought that it was the crumpled state of it that gave it its charm. She’s made this one in class, and stuffed it into her back to take it home. And so it is a crumpled house now.

She finds the design and the colors obviously more important than the folds.

What I found significant is that she draws always a pair of humans. A boy AND a girl. A king AND a queen. Somehow it has been imprinted on her that this is how it should be. That reminds me of a (Dutch) friend of mine. Single parents in Holland are a perfectly normal phenomenon. Children who have no father (and I do not mean those who have a father but he is no longer living with them) is maybe not as usual, but not unusual either. And so I have a (Dutch) friend, living here in Beirut, with her daughter. There is no husband, and no father. A conscious decision on the part of the mother. The daughter goes to school here, and she knows she has no father. She has a mother, but no father. This was a concept however that her (Lebanese) teachers could not get. So whenever she was asked to draw a portrait of the family, she would draw it with her mom, and she always got remarks over this, much to the exasperation of the mother, who finally pulled her out and enrolled her into a somewhat more modern school, where the concepts of ‘no father’ is more or less understood (but still frowned upon).
I wonder if teachers (and society) influence a child into what should be in the picture. What makes a 'proper' picture, and what does not?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

For Later

Both these paintings came from school yesterday. I am not sure about the pastel colored one. She does not want to talk about her art work at the moment.
I had my doubts about the red colored blob one; should I even post it. It doesn’t say anything. No object or depiction. But then I thought (delusional mother, you may think), ‘what if, just what ‘if’ , one day, she will be an artist. And an artist in the style of William de Kooning. Or maybe Jason Pollock (click your mouse to get another color). I am sure that would put this red blob in another day light, wouldn’t it?
And so I post it for later. Who knows.
Try out the Pollock web site; it is fun. I might get Hana to do one and make a screen shot of it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


A happy girl. A princess maybe? She doesn’t want to talk about it now, she says. She is busy, has other projects. I am not sure what the girl is standing in. Or laying in.

Monday, June 2, 2008

More Water Paint

Another work in water paint; a house (up) and a tree (below). I found them unusual (well, doesn’t every mother think so of her child’s paintings?) in the sense that she filled all the white. She has filled, like a real painter, the entire surface.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Church Windows

Some spiritual stuff today. She has temporarily switched to water paint, and drew these two items.
"What are these?" I asked.
"Church windows," she replies without hesitating.

Interesting. The only time she ever enters a church is in summer, and then - while we travel - we enter every church we see, and burn a candle for oma. Most of these are the old fashioned French churches, in Gothic or Roman style. But they do all have these beautiful colored church windows.