Artist pushing limits teaching in the Middle East

Henri Doner-Hedrick stands next to her painting “Blindfolded Arab,” which was created as part of a conference on artistic reaction to the crisis in the Gaza Strip. “My work represents all Arab leaders in the surrounding countries putting a ‘blind eye’ to what was happening while women, children and innocent people were being used as human shields,” Doner-Hedrick says. “They were waiting for Obama to be elected in hopes that the Americans would do something.”

“I went over there with a lot of fear, not knowing anything about the culture,” she says.

The longtime Lawrence-area artist, a 56-year-old journeywoman lecturer at area universities, finally landed a full-time position — teaching at the New York Institute of Technology campus in Amman, Jordan. She started a year ago this week.

After a year of frustrations, triumphs and plenty of education — both students’ and her own — Doner-Hedrick is headed back to the Middle East this week with a renewed sense of purpose both as an educator and an artist.

“I really found my place in life,” she says.

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Filed under American Politics, Arts, Humanitarian, Jordan, Media, Middle East Politics, Palestine/Israel, Photos

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