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Art By Campbell Arabic Teacher In Gallery Show

Adly Mirza’s Campbell High School students re-enact an Arabian wedding. Photo from Adly Mirza.

Students have been enriched by his cultural knowledge of the Middle East, and now the rest of Oahu can enjoy some of that cultural enrichment.

Campbell High School Arabic studies teacher Adly Mirza also is a photographer and artist. Thirty-five of his photographs, paintings and sketches are on display through Nov. 29 at Gallery on the Pali (at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, 2500 Pali Hwy).

Mirza has taught at Campbell for the past three years, with more than 30 students currently enrolled in his beginning and intermediate Arabic classes. He also coordinates the Arabic Language Program at UH Manoa, and one of his advanced Arabic students from the program is serving as his teaching assistant at Campbell this year.

“Last summer, some of my students had the opportunity to travel and study in Morocco for three weeks in a study abroad program,” said Mirza. “At Campbell, these students shared their stories and experience with the rest of the class.”

Mirza is now sharing his own experiences in the Middle East through his exhibit, aptly titled “My Roots in the Middle East.”

Mirza was born in Aden, Yemen, and his art show will feature photos from his travels back to his birthplace, as well as to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Turkey in the past four years.

“Viewers can see in my display images of everyday life, for example, frying falafel, the oud (a form of lute or mandolin) player, flower girls, street musicians. My personal goal is that people will leave my exhibition with a better understanding and respect for the culture and people of the Middle East.”

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Thursdays to 8 p.m.), and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. For more information, call 595-4047 or visit unitariansofhi.org/gallery.