Simultaneously, his employment of embroidery is significant -- with the forces of occupation often clamping down on the display of flags and other material associated with the resistance, the Palestinian art form evolved into an intricate coded language of signifiers used as an act of defiance. Al Mozayen's mother was an expert in the field. In Children of the Intifada (1988), the artist depicts two young children dressed in traditional Palestinian garb sitting atop a horse. The horse is adorned with an embroidered tapestry that reads "December" in Arabic and 1987 in English -- the month during which the first Intifada erupted. From the horse's bridle hangs a key, a familiar symbol for Palestinians: forced out by Israeli forces in 1948, many took the keys to their homes with them, expecting their expulsion to be temporary. The children have slingshots in their hands and a supply of stones nearby, a reference to the rock-throwing youth who were essential to the uprising. In mid-journey, the horse takes the children over a bed of rocks, perhaps suggesting the Jordan River as they cross it to liberate Palestine or a metaphorical road that is paved with the very means of their resistance.
by Maymanah Farhat