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Kamal Boullata spent a life in art and exile trying to recapture Jerusalem's light. 

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<<Greeting>>,

These words touched me.

“I really hope that my paintings, inspired by a lifetime spent in exile from Jerusalem, could enhance the pleasures of bathing in light that recalls the warmth of one’s earliest home.”

This is how Kamal Boullata reflects on his life and art in a video published by The Electronic Intifada in July 2018.

He tells how the icons in Jerusalem’s churches, and the intricate patterns adorning the Dome of the Rock, mesmerized him as a child.

The visual language and shared spiritual dimensions of the Muslim and Christian traditions of Jerusalem inspired his artistic explorations.

This summer Boullata died in exile, having not returned for decades to the beloved city where he spent his childhood.

But he did finally return home. In fulfillment of his dying wish he was buried in Jerusalem, after Israeli occupation authorities granted rare permission.

On the day of his funeral, I got an urgent call from Al Jazeera’s bureau in Jerusalem.

They were covering the funeral, they said, but the network could not find any usable images of Boullata’s paintings or any footage of the artist.

It turned out that this beautiful video – made by Linda Paganelli for The Electronic Intifada – is one of the few occasions when Boullata spoke about his work and inspiration. And now it stood as a lasting tribute he himself had helped create.

We were happy to give permission for Al Jazeera to use parts of the film on its broadcasts and website and to share the treasure of Kamal Boullata’s legacy.

I’m proud that The Electronic Intifada could make this contribution. It’s part of our commitment to sharing Palestinian culture by profiling artists and their work.

To me this is as important – and powerful – as the news and analysis we publish every day.

But like everything we do, The Electronic Intifada’s coverage of arts and culture is only possible because of the support of readers like you.

Please make a donation today to support our work in 2020. Donations are tax-deductible for US taxpayers and welcome from anywhere.

With thanks warmest wishes for the Holiday Season,

Ali Abunimah
Executive Director

PS: Our readers can be proud of the incredible journalism they support. I’ve included below a just a selection of what we’ve produced this year! Thank you.

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The powerful work you help us create

This is a sample of the work The Electronic Intifada has published this year – made possible by people like you who care about justice in Palestine.

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