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Sculpture from Iraqi artist installed at Arts West

"Civilization," a sculpture by former Elon scholar-in-residence Ahmed Fadaam, was installed on the portico of the Arts West building Thursday afternoon in an event that included a live question-and-answer discussion with the artist from his home in Baghdad.

"Civilization" is now on display on the portico of Arts West.

The installation will occur as part of International Education Week and was sponsored by the Office of the University Art Collections, Elon’s Department of Art & Art History, and the Isabella Canon Center for International Studies.

Depicting a woman struggling to break free from the hands of oppression, the sculpture is a gift from Fadaam to the university, where he taught in fall 2008.

Nearly three dozen students, faculty, staff and guests filled a classroom in the Arts West building to talk with Fadaam, who chatted via web camera from Iraq, where it was past 1 a.m. local time. Included in the audience was Dick Gordon, host of “The Story” on WUNC 91.5, and NPR affiliate that had broadcast an interview with Fadaam earlier in the day.

“It was a great honor and opportunity for me to come to Elon to meet all of the great people and to reach people, to share about my country,” Fadaam said in the chat. “Civilization right now as I see it is in great danger. It’s on its way to destruction … We must not allow that to happen. I hope that I have left something good and something for people to think about.”

Fadaam did, however, offer glimpses of hope as they related to security in Iraq and prospects for its future.

“People here are tired of violence,” he said. “They want to think of the future, to think of their lives again, and they want to forget all the horrible things they have seen.”


Eric Townsend,
11/20/2009 11:17 AM