Bothaina Halabi – Druze Holocaust Art Gallery
Bothaina is an Israeli Druze artist, born in 1975, living in Daliat El Carmel. She started out her way in the art and creativity early in her childhood. She painted on walls of kindergartens, neighborhoods and schools. She has had exhibitions throughout Israel and abroad. Bothaina has initiated a project dealing with co-existence called “A Dialogue Between Neighbors” and exhibited it in the Holocaust Museum in Terezin in a study frame of the Holocaust, human dignity and acceptance of others. She appeard as a social leader by initiating educational and ethical practice in operation of the program “Windows for Memory” to commemorate a million and a half children who perished in the Holocaust. Her house became important after establishing in it a unique gallery to Holocaust memorial. Visitors from Israel and abroad come to listen to her story how the Holocaust fascinated her as a Druze woman and to see an exciting collection of original paintings.
Hofim Class of the Israel School of Tourism visit an exhibition of drawings in the Druze village Daliat El Carmel. What connection could there be between drawings of a Druze woman painter and the Holocaust? We went to the Daliat El Carmel home of Bothaina, to her permanent gallery exhibition venue. We learned that the painter Bothaina Halabi dedicated her exhibition to her brother-in-law warrant officer Lutfi Nasraldin the first soldier killed in operation “Cast Lead”. Lutfi was the one who told Bothaina about the Holocaust and awakened her interest in the subject. Bothaina has an exceptional gift for painting. She never learned to paint but started painting about a year ago and the subject of Holocaust is ever-present in her work. It was interesting to learn that six residents of Daliat el Carmel, who served in the British army during World War II were captured and sent to Nazi concentration camps and had prison numbers tatooed on there arms.
Bothaina, has visited Theresienstadt and following this, has spoken about the Holocaust at the Daliat-El-Carmel school and other schools in Israel. The Druze are very interested to listen to and learning about Jewish history and see it as very important. “It is always said that there is a blood brotherhood between us, I prefer to call it life brotherhood.” They feel that it is important that Jewish children, too, learn to know the Druze.
The visit to Bothaina Halabi’s Gallery was an eye-opener for learning about the Holocaust, the Druze and Israeli society. I recommend you visit, too.
P.O.B. 5093 Daliat El Carmel 30056 Israel