Category Archives: Arizona

Real Human Beings

Tonight I am hosting a film event at Young Eyes Gallery. It’s actually a thank you celebration for the people who contributed to my projects in Jordan and to honor Palestine. Amira and I picked up the “Seven Women’s House Keys” canvas from Gallery 14 yesterday. The canvas will be the focal point of the event tonight.

One shop I failed to mention is the Smoke Shop just off of Paris Circle. The smoke shops are worth seeing, even for those who don’t smoke. I went by there today and took some photos.1 smoke shop2 smoke shop3 smoke shop4 smoke shopOn my walk back to my apartment I thought about how accustomed I’ve become to saying hello to familiar and unfamiliar passerby’s while walking to and from Paris Circle. The people I’ve come to know here remind me of a young man from Russia I met years ago in the Sinai Desert. He owned literally nothing and his job as a garbage collector paid three dollars a day. He invited me to his apartment for dinner. After entering his apartment he presented me with a gift of a scarf his mother made, asked me to sit down and served me a plate filled with chicken and a fork. I asked if he was going to eat and he replied, “I’m not  hungry. Please eat.” Before leaving his apartment I glanced into his kitchen. There was nothing in the kitchen except a pot with a partially cooked chicken boiling on a hotplate . I was using the one plate and fork that he owned. When I said goodbye I told him how exceptionally kind he was. He replied, “No, I am not exceptionally kind. I am a human being. This is how human beings treat other human beings. Anything less is not being a human being.”5 walk home6 walk home7 walk home8 walk homeIn two days I’ll be on a plane flying to the United States.  My experience in Jordan can be compared to a little spot on this earth brimming over with real human beings.

Beauty Queens and Jamming

There are a couple of shops in Paris Circle that are definitely worth knowing about. Oregano is a cosmetics and “nifty stuff” shop owned by Aiman All Jallad. Aiman can be contacted on Facebook.1 AimanAnjulee works in the shop. I’m not sure how to spell or pronounce her name so I call her Jenny.2 Aiman's shop, Jenny-OhjaneyHis shop has  numerous colors and brands of lipsticks and cosmetics. I have been searching for a purple lipstick on line and off line for ten years. I told Aiman about my purple lipstick dilemma and he said, “Don’t worry, I’ll get it for you.” Within in a few days I returned to his shop and purchased five tubes of purple lipstick for one JD each. Amazing!3 Aiman's shop4 Aiman's shop, Jenny5 Aiman's shop6 Aiman's shop7 Aiman's shop8 Aiman's shop9 Aiman's shop10 Suzanne and AimanThe shop a couple of doorways from Aiman’s shop is Namliyeh Jam Shop. The owners are two young women, Manal Abushmais and Aya Shaban.11 jam girls12Manal and Aya make the jam from fresh Jordanian produce, the best fruit I’ve ever tasted. Their jam and marmalade is, by far, the best I have ever eaten.1313a Amira141517Before walking back to my apartment from Paris Circle I noticed Ibriheem decorating a shiny new automobile with flowers in front of his shop.18 Ibriheem's wedding carI went over to talk to the men surrounding the car to find out why the car was being decorated.  One of the men explained that his nineteen year old cousin was getting married that evening. It’s a custom to decorate the groom’s car with floral arrangements a few hours prior to the wedding. When a man asks the father of a female for permission to marry her he is required to sign a contract. The contract stipulates that the future son-in-law must own a car, is employed, owns a house, pays a substantial dowry, and pays for the wedding expenses. 19 wedding car (2)20 wedding car (1)A low-end amount for a wedding is fifteen thousand JD’s. If he can’t provide the aforementioned then he is not given permission to marry the man’s daughter. Sounds like good planning to me!

Walking down the hill to my apartment I stopped at the little corner market, Al Nahas, owned by Saleem.21 Al-Nahas, Saleem's corner storeI’ve been here almost six months. It wasn’t until about ten days ago that I first went into the little market. I had been purposely avoiding it because I thought the prices would be higher than in the large market in Paris Circle. My false assumption about little markets selling things at higher prices was totally wrong. I could have saved lots and lots of money by shopping at Saleem’s market instead of trekking up the hill to Stop and Shop.23 Interior Saleem's shop22 Saleem and SuzanneLive and learn!

Farewell Dinner

Wa’el, the owner of Potato and Salad Restaurant in Webdeh, invited Julie De Soto and I to a farewell dinner for me the other night.1 Julie and Wael.Ya’arob Rousan, a fantastic chef, prepared and roasted “the best cut” of lamb and stuffed it with his special rice mixed with herbs and other ingedients. It was incredibly delicious. I could eat it every night for the rest of my life, but considering Ya’arob lives in Jordan and I live in Arizona I’ll be eating it in my dreams.2 Layth and Ya'arob.3 Ya'arob.4 Ya'arob.5 Layth, browning lamb roast.While I was taking photos white orbs kept appearing in the lens frame. Regardless of where I stood in the room round orbs and orbs with tails kept zooming around in the room.6 ghost auras.7 ghost auras moved.Ya’arob’s mother and some of Wa’el’s friends joined us for dinner.9 Ya'arob and his mother.8.10 eating crew.11 pre-eating.12 Layth carving.13.14 auras watching.15 dinner.16 the best part.17 fini.A huge THANK YOU to the beautiful men, who all know how to cook, for my farewell dinner! Their warmth, friendship and hospitality is enough to compensate for any unrequited “hospitality” in the past and for the rest of my life!

Night Gallery Photos of Art Exhibit, Klotz, Painter, White

My friends Taj Sabet and Holly Harris and her son Zane went to the Night Gallery in Tempe Market Place where I am currently having and exhibition with James White and Brian Painter. The title of the exhibition is “Three Friends-Four Dimensions.” I’ve known Jim and Brian for years and have always been impressed with their work. I’m honored to be sharing an exhibit with them. Jim and Brian are both Professors in Sculpture Departments, Jim at Arizona State University and Brian at Northern Arizona University. My contributions to the exhibit are some of my tapestry canvases. The large canvases are painted, embroidered and beaded. Each takes about a year to create.  I return from Jordan February 1, the day the exhibition ends. I’m so sorry I will miss seeing their newest work in person because it ‘charges’ my life.

I’m always surprised by the uniqueness of their concepts and exceptional technical abilities. Each of their works causes me to verbally react when I first see them by uttering a loud “ha” followed by a smile and my inner voice saying “You have got to be kidding me.” My reaction to their work is the greatest compliment I could give any artist. Their work visually encapsulates years of my thoughts and questions and creates answers and endings for them.  Jim is the king of formulating his ideas in neon. His sculptures in the exhibit say more about Arizona and life in the desert than any words could adequately express. Brian’s metal and bronze sculptures are uniquely Brian. To me, they are structures that ‘solidify” the fleeting impressions in dreams with the concrete reality of daily living. I know I would have walked away from the exhibit feeling uplifted and more complete.  In lieu of attending the exhibit, Taj Sabet emailed me the following photos so I could enjoy the exhibit from afar:1 Suzanne Klotz, James White, Brian Painter. To view Jim White’s sculpture go to

Images of my canvases in the exhibit can be viewed at

If anyone took a video of the exhibition please email it to me and I will post it.