About Zahi Khamis

Born and raised in the Palestinian village of Reineh outside of Nazareth, Zahi Khamis emigrated to Europe and then to California in the early 80’s. He earned his BA in Mathematics at San Diego State University, studied literature and philosophy at San Francisco State University, and earned his MA degree in Liberal Arts from Loyola University. Zahi has been painting and exhibiting for many years. His work has appeared in numerous publications and in solo, juried, and cultural exhibits, including shows at the United Nations, The U.S. Senate, The Palestine Center (Washington D.C) and the Carnegie Institute for Peace. Informed by the Palestinian story, and his own life in exile, Zahi’s work is part of the long tradition of committed art. His bright, optimistic colors combined with the tragic expressions of his subjects express the painful, yet luminous, contradictions of all those who struggle for liberation.

Zahi Khamis is currently professor of Arabic and the director of the Arabic Program at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland where he lives with his wife, poet and author, Kim Jensen.

“Having lost home and exhausted exile, I stand in front of my canvasses—my final trench—and resist Despair. Shaped by an old and stubborn habit of mine—Hope—I, with a paint brush in my hand, decide, Yes it is still possible to create.

These images on the walls are the results of my attempt, at the darkest hour, to say yes to life, yes to art, and yes to beauty.”—Artists statement for his exhibit “Cut Down By the Sky”—2008

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