Mohammed Al Hawajri

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Cactus Borders

Cactus  Borders

The existence of cactus refers to the existence of a Palestinian village. It  was often used to divide spaces and agricultural lands. To this day, cactus still exists in spite of the continues demolition and settlement over the remains of Palestinian villages. Despite the attempts of demolition and erase of all mention of the Arab presence and its roots in Palestine, the occupation always Collide to this strong and steadfast plant in front of them, which live and grow in the Palestinian territories to this day.

What made me interested in using this plant in my art is that it has a strange shape, which resembles somewhat the shape of humans heads.

Its life is also somewhat similar to the human life of the Palestinian in his steadfastness and firmness in the ground.

Cactus is a plant full of contradictions, where it is tough in shape, however it blooms in the summer beautifully colored flowers and also produce sweet fruit with many thorns that protect it from tampers of the abusers and it is the fruit of the Palestinian farmer in the hot summer.

All this and more inspired me to draw artworks inspired by the shape, the life and the existence of this plant

(Cactus) raises in me many questions which I am still trying to find their answers, but through the visual arts, and not through scientific analysis. This Palestinian plant entered the my artistic laboratory and I'm still looking out to provide a product of contemporary art to enjoy the audience view of it and an instigator to ponder this really nice plant and many expressive connotations.

Unfortunately, this plant is used by some Israeli settlers as an emblem of their presence in Palestine and they present it as an Israeli plant, as they falsify history to provide the late Palestinian artist (Asim Abu Shakra) as an Israeli artist in their museums or world cultural lodges. This artist made the most important works of art, which was centered on cactus plant and continued to paint it until his death.

Cactus is the truth of the Palestinian human’s existence and the witness to the destruction of his cities and villages from which it was displaced. This plant is still in some destroyed villages saving the geographic areas. Despite all that long time, it flowers and fruits waiting for the return of the true villagers. These are the borders of cactus.

Mohammed Ahmed Al Hawarji



Mohammad Hawajri is an artist gifted with keen observation, peculiar vision, and outstanding craftsmanship. Working hard to expand his art education, Mohammad appreciates diversity in his intellectual, post-conceptual approach. His artwork varies between the common and uncommon portraying not only public scenes but further global and contemporary. By that Mohammad is leading a very unique individuality in the art sphere. In spite of his tendencies toward Impressionism, it is rather inaccurate to classify him under a particular school of art. His unsettled style is one of the virtues that enables him to continue within the variety of the modern art canon where intellectual and social converge very often takes place.

On the other hand, Mohammad's art experience is one of very colored talking about his technical search and variety of resources as he is much distinguished in the speculative and conceptual motifs he suggests past the narrative and demonstrative styles highlighting urgent political and social connotations. He employs local symbols of his society which give his art production an aura of a very native patriotic sensation.

Emerging from such background, Mohammad represents the traditional cactus very common in historical Palestine as a recurrent theme in his speculative search  due to its dominant appearance as a symbol and in life of Palestine. Mohammad uses its shape to convey sentimental nationalism bridging our dear past with the current challenges which intrinsically distinguish him as an accomplished comprehensive artist.

Dr. Shafiq Rudwan