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Art Under Occupation: Palestinian-Canadian artist Hanny Khoury talks art, identity, and belonging




Palestinian-Canadian artist Hanny Khoury has spent years thoughtfully exploring his identity, trying to establish his understanding of what it means to be Palestinian.Art has always been his lifeline, an outlet where he channels frustrations and emotions, seeking a means of representing his past in a way that empathizes with an international audience. From Palestine to Canada, his journey has been difficult and encouraging, a true redemption arc that’s far from over.

Khoury grew up in a small village in historical Palestine-one of six children-under the Israeli occupation. As far back as he can remember, his identity, and the identities of his family and neighbors, were conflated with the information being spread by the occupation. “You are a Palestinian, a minority living under occupation. The environment is weird, nothing is clear.You can’t identify yourself and you don’t grow up with a clear identity that’s solid,” says Khoury.“From school to the media, the occupation is basically programming your brain, to make you forget your identity.”

Art was the one thing that could ground Khoury to something tangible. It was a means of coping with the instability of his daily life and allowed him to express his confusion. As he describes, it was a means of creating an entirely new world: “It’s like I was creating my own environment, my own life, the way I wanted it to be. With time, art became a healing process for me. It became the one thing through which I rebuild the relationship with everything around me and make peace with it. Heal it. That’s how art spoke to me. Art became like food for me, or water.”Even when his parents struggled to afford necessities, his mother would use soil and flowers to make natural pigments he could paint with. Walls, doors, broken pieces of wood-anything could serve as a canvas in Khoury’s eyes.

Eventually, after years of tension, both internally and with his environment, he made his way to Canada. This fresh start opened his mind, and he finally found the space and time to focus on his practice. It was during this period that he began to consider the parameters of being a Palestinian artist in a contemporary context. As a child, Khoury’s sources of artistic inspiration were limited to what was acceptable under the occupation. Names from Western art history, like Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, were tolerable, but examples of Palestinian art were scarce. “Back then, I didn’t have anything that made me a Palestinian artist. I got this sense of belonging later in life, through my own research. I developedan awareness about our existence as Palestinians and then my art started to belong to the history and the story of Palestine. Before that, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn that information,” says Khoury.

Through his studies and careful research, Khoury began to form his own idea about the critical difference between being a Palestinian artist and producing Palestine art. “I think the Palestinian story of identity loss, it had its own time,” he explains.“Silman Mansour, Nabil Anani, Ismail Shammout-those artists had to do it because they had to construct their identity and the identity of the Palestinian people.  For us, as the young generation in or from Palestine, we must do something different. We have to work with an international language, while still belonging to the Palestinian identity.” Khoury’s search for identity is also a search for expression, finding a way to leverage Palestinian form to resonate on an international, even universal, level.

Currently represented by Mark Hachem Gallery, Khoury’s work is set to make an impression on audiences around the world. He has already made great strides with his ability to translate his own experiences into a visual, emotionallanguage that anyone can connect with. “What I have suffered in my life, the experiences, the journey I had in Palestine-this is what developed my international language of art. This is where it came from. The figures, the colors, the balance. Everything that makes up my work is Palestinian, but the figures themselves aren’t necessarily Palestinian,” he explains. “Art is translating the time period that we live in, visually.The modern world of art is not translating specific moments, it’s translating specific emotions. We talk about our conflicts, our difficulties, our pain, the system. That’s what we talk about as artists. So, when we look at art, it should deliver emotion. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with belonging to the physical world. It can be connected to the emotional world, or faith.” Confident and passionate, Khoury is forging ahead with a new vision of what Palestinian art could be, offering the next generation of young artists what he was denied growing up: an inspirational figure.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Hardwood Floors Refinishing: Top Care Tips for a Lasting Shine




Revamping your hardwood floors requires both a time and financial investment, yet the returns are evident in the enhanced aesthetics and functionality of your residential or commercial area. However, the longevity and durability of these newly refinished floors are contingent upon proper maintenance. This detailed guide is designed to offer expert guidance on how to preserve the quality and look of your newly refinished hardwood floors. We’ll cover a variety of subjects, from the science of wood aging and types of wood that need more frequent treatment, to top tips for floor upkeep. Your investment in hardwood floor refinishing need not be short-lived; with the correct care, it can be a long-term enhancement to your property.

Tips for Ensuring Durability in Your Newly Refinished Floors

After you have spent money on hardwood floor refinishing, maintaining their condition becomes a top priority. Here are strategies to prolong the lifespan and appearance of your updated flooring.

1. Regular Cleaning

A clean floor is a happy floor. Use a microfiber mop or cloth to pick up dust, dirt, and grime daily if possible. For a deeper clean, opt for cleaning products specifically designed for hardwood floors. Make sure to read the labels and opt for pH-neutral cleaners that are free from abrasives or harsh chemicals. Weekly or bi-weekly, consider a gentle vacuuming with a hardwood-friendly vacuum cleaner to remove debris that may have settled between the wood planks.

2. Use Protective Pads

One of the most effective ways to prevent scratches and dents on your hardwood floors is to place felt pads under the legs of furniture. This simple step can go a long way in preserving the smooth finish of your floor. You should also replace these pads every few months, as they can wear down or accumulate grime, reducing their effectiveness.

3. Control Humidity

Fluctuating indoor humidity levels can wreak havoc on hardwood floors. Excessive moisture can cause the wood to swell, leading to issues like cupping or buckling, while too little moisture can cause wood to shrink, leading to gaps between planks. Invest in a quality hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity level, and aim to keep it between 30% and 50%. Use a humidifier during dry months and a dehumidifier during humid months to maintain optimal conditions.

4. Proper Spill Management

Accidents are inevitable, but the way you handle them can make all the difference. Whether it’s water, juice, or wine, if you spill liquid on your hardwood floor, wipe it up immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid using paper towels as they can disintegrate and get stuck in the crevices of the wood. Also, never let liquids sit on the wood, as they can seep in and cause staining or warping.

5. No Shoes Policy

Implement a ‘no shoes’ policy to preserve your floors. Shoes can bring in dirt, gravel, and other harmful debris from outside. If a full-blown ‘no shoes’ policy isn’t realistic for your household, at least insist on no high heels or sports cleats, which can cause dents and scratches. You might also consider placing a high-quality doormat at entrances to trap dirt before it gets to your floor.

6. Regular Inspections

Every three to six months, set aside time to inspect your hardwood floors meticulously. Use natural light or a bright lamp to look for scratches, dents, or areas where the finish might be wearing off. If you catch these issues early, you may be able to address them with a simple touch-up rather than a full refinishing job.

7. Refresher Coats

Although your newly refinished floors look amazing now, they won’t stay that way forever without some upkeep. Consider applying a ‘refresher’ coat of finish every two to three years. This isn’t as invasive or time-consuming as a full refinishing project. Instead, it’s more like a topcoat that adds an extra layer of protection, keeping your floors looking vibrant and shiny.

8. Scheduled Expert Cleaning

A yearly cleaning session by professionals can dramatically enhance the condition of your hardwood floors. Specialized machinery and products are used to eliminate tough dirt, renew the wood’s natural shine, and smooth out minor imperfections. This process not only rejuvenates your flooring but also prolongs its lifespan, maintaining its fresh appearance for an extended time.

Advantages of Consistent Upkeep

Routine care for your restored hardwood floors does more than maintain their visual appeal; it also prolongs their durability, augmenting the long-term value of your property. Floors that are regularly cared for can endure for many years, negating the need for frequent, costly refinishing. In addition, a structured care regimen lessens the likelihood that small defects will escalate into serious issues, thus promoting a cleaner and more healthful living area. In summary, regular maintenance serves as a long-term financial benefit and a means of sustaining your home’s elegance.

When To Seek Professional Help

If you notice persistent issues like deep scratches, stubborn stains, or any form of water damage, it’s best to seek professional help. Specialists in hardwood floors refinishing can assess the situation and provide targeted solutions. Companies like 1DayRefinishing offer an extensive range of services that can effectively address these problems. Notably, the company specializes in a one-day turnaround, making them a convenient option for those in need of quick yet high-quality refinishing solutions.

Finding Trustworthy Services for Floor Refinishing

If you’re in a location with scarce local options, consider exploring 1 DAY Refinishing. Their seasoned experts offer complete solutions for maintaining and refinishing hardwood floors, helping to keep them pristine for the long haul.

Final Thoughts

The decision to invest in refinishing your hardwood floors is a significant commitment to enhancing your home’s aesthetics and overall value. By diligently following proper maintenance routines, your refinished floors can continue to elevate your home’s ambience. Every effort, from regular cleaning, to hiring professionals, adds to the resilience and visual allure of your hardwood floors. Stick to these essential care guidelines, and your floors will maintain their lustre for an extended period.

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