"Alif El Ahat: A Tribute to the Expulsion of Muslims from Spain" is a poignant artwork that commemorates the 500-year anniversary of the expulsion of Muslims from Spain in 1492. Created by artist Ali Omar Ermes in 1992, this piece uses the letter "AAAA" as a symbol of the cries of those who suffered torture, torment, and the burning of their intellectual properties, books, and homes.
In addition to its powerful visual imagery, this artwork also includes important dates and events from the history of Al Andalusia, including the establishment of famous cities, scientific and knowledgeable institutions, and celebrations of important occasions.
This original artwork, created using acrylic and ink on paper, currently resides with a private collector in Geneva, Switzerland. It has been displayed at Islamic conferences in the city to remind viewers of the importance of remembering and honoring the past.
Here are a few examples of poems that speak to the themes of this artwork:
"Alif, the first letter of the alphabet
A symbol of the cries of those who suffered
The expulsion from our homeland, a wound that never healed
We remember the torment and the burning
We honor those who fought for justice and freedom"
"The letter A, a reminder of the past
A symbol of the resilience and strength of our people
We will never forget the injustice done to us
We will always honor those who fought for our rights
We will always stand up for what is right"
"The letter A, a beacon of hope
A reminder of the power of unity and solidarity
We will never be silenced, we will never be defeated
We will always stand strong, and fight for what is right
We will always remember the past, and honor those who came before us"
This breathtaking piece by Ali Omar Ermes showcases the versatility and depth of the Arabic language through the use of a single stroke technique. Through this technique, Ermes is able to convey a range of emotions and expressions that range from the simplest and most direct to the most complex and nuanced.