|Dallas Anatole Hilton Hotel|
Local reflective memorials have been positive, with countless arts organizations marking the anniversary with fascinating exhibits and concerts. An overall theme seems to be how much Dallas has changed, and one thread is how much more ethnically diverse it has become.
I experienced the rich diversity from my perspective at an art education conference that week-end at the Anatole Hilton Hotel in Dallas. It houses an amazing collection of Asian Art, and is a favorite place for celebrations of eastern immigrants, from the Mid-East to India to Japan. On the evening of Nov. 22, in one ballroom there was an awards ceremony and dance concert for Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians, with hundreds in attendance. In a second ballroom there was an Indian wedding, with women in beautiful traditional dress, dancing in a similar style. The waiter at the sushi bar where I was eating said the Anatole is a favorite venue for Indian weddings, and the massive regal elephant sculptures gracing the lobby seemed to reflect that.
|Sculptural Sphere, by Fahad Aljebreen|
|Fahad and Alya Aljebreen|
I also have met some amazing students. Aysheh is a wonderful young American who is studying elementary education at the University of North Texas. Her defiant looking self-portrait I believe represents her pride and self-empowering stance as a young Muslim woman. Her paternal grandfather was a farmer in Palestine, until his land was re-distributed under Israeli orders. She is the most globally informed college student I have met. I got to know her well when she volunteered for a semester to work with Earl and I at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center in Denton in an Integrated Arts Club (See Oct. 9 post).
|Self-Portrait -Aysheh Kadar|