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War in the Crosshairs of Art

May 28, 2011

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    Translation: Let us plant flowers in our beloved country and save our country from war and turbulence forever.

Each year, Lewis & Clark Professor of Education Zaher Wahab travels to his native Afghanistan to help rebuild the educational infrastructure of the war-torn country.

During his most recent trip, Wahab collected drawings from Afghan high school students that depict their daily experiences. After Wahab returned to the United States, the American Friends Service Committee asked him if the drawings could be added to Windows and Mirrors, a nationwide traveling exhibit about the human cost of war in Afghanistan.

“When I asked the students to draw the pictures, I had no idea their drawings would end up in a nationwide exhibit in the United States,” says Wahab. “I just asked them to draw their thoughts and feelings about Afghanistan. The images they created are all about violence, war, and survival. There’s nothing about play or kids having fun.”

Wahab hopes the exhibit, organized around 45 murals, will help Americans imagine the experience of Afghan civilians. “Who knows how many people will see these images and be informed and inspired by them.”

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