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The National article on Dr Dahesh and the Dahesh Museum

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  • The National article on Dr Dahesh and the Dahesh Museum

    I stumbled upon this lengthy article that was published yesterday in The National, a quite serious newspaper that was launched a few years ago by the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates.

    I have mixed feeling about the article, and I guess you'll understand why when reading it

    http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs....708209994/1008

  • #2
    Thank you Ziyad for sharing this information with us. I can understand that you have mixed feelings about it.
    Yet another missed opportunity to set the record straight.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ziyad View Post
      I stumbled upon this lengthy article that was published yesterday in The National, a quite serious newspaper that was launched a few years ago by the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates.

      I have mixed feeling about the article, and I guess you'll understand why when reading it

      http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs....708209994/1008
      I am sorry because I need to express myself in French ( I couldn't really write those thoughts in english) and I thank Mario in advance if he could just summarize my words for those who do not speak french.

      Merci Ziyad de nous avoir informé de l’existence de cet article paru dans le journal « The National ». Cette interview accordée par Amira Zahid permet à la journaliste Carol Kino de publier à nouveau un article sur Le Docteur Dahesh et Le Musée Dahesh. C’est un évènement si rare que j’ai réellement ressenti l’impériosité de partager avec l’ensemble des lecteurs intéressés par le sujet, un certain nombre de remarques.

      En 1997, Amira Zahid avait déjà rencontré cette même journaliste et lui avait accordé une interview concernant le Musée Dahesh.

      A cette époque, la journaliste avait posé des questions sur le musée mais également sur la personne du Docteur Dahesh à l’origine de la collection d’œuvres d’art exposées.

      Amira Zahid avait alors clairement exprimé son intention de ne pas s’épancher sur le sujet du Docteur Dahesh laissant ainsi planer, dans l’esprit de Carol Kino, l’idée qu’il existerait peut-être une quelconque Secte Daheshiste derrière Le musée Dahesh, La maison d’édition Daheshiste et La Librairie Daheshiste puisque toutes ces entités appartenaient à la famille Zahid. En ce temps là, Amira Zahid préféra éviter de parler du Docteur Dahesh se retrancher derrière un mutisme et mettant définitivement terme à toute question supplémentaire par une réponse expéditive : un « No comment » édifiant. Ce silence inattendu a certainement interloqué la journaliste.

      En étant mise à l’avant de la scène de façon récurrente, Amira Zahid endosse donc une sérieuse responsabilité à l’égard de La Personne qu’elle est supposée représenter à savoir : Le Docteur Dahesh, dont elle devient le Porte-Parole. Il semblerait désormais qu’Amira Zahid - malgré elle peut-être - soit considérée comme étant l’autorité officielle investie du pouvoir de parler « Du Docteur Dahesh » qui, pour la communauté Daheshiste, est Un Prophète.

      Il aurait pu en être autrement, d’autres personnes auraient pu jouer ce rôle d’interagir avec le Public, sans que sa famille n’ait eu à être éventuellement embarrassée d’être associée avec le Daheshisme en tant que Religion. A la place de cela, le Musée Dahesh préféra, dans un article publié en 1996 dans le magazine ART NEWS, diffuser la thèse selon laquelle Le Docteur Dahesh n’était pas Un Prophète mais que c’était plutôt une « vue de l’esprit » fabriquée par des personnes qui s’appelleraient «Daheshistes ».

      Aucun Daheshiste n’ayant vraiment contesté cela en élevant publiquement sa voix pour se récrier contre ce qui avait été publié, cette communauté de Daheshistes est alors supposée consentante pour laisser grandir ce mythe au sujet du Docteur et permettre aux personnes à l’origine d’une telle prise de position, de poursuivre dans cette optique de communication avec le public.

      Se positionnant comme l’interface officielle avec le public, qui mieux qu’Amira Zahid pouvait étancher l’insatiable soif que Mme Carol Kino semble éprouver au sujet du Docteur Dahesh, l’homme qui est à l’origine du Musée Dahesh.

      Outre l’aspect « collectionneur d’art » - œuvres d’art ayant d’ailleurs été collectionnées par Le Docteur principalement pour des raisons spirituelles qui ne sont bien sûr, jamais évoquées - aisément diffusé au grand public, Le Docteur Dahesh écrivit une œuvre littéraire monumentale … N’éprouve t-on pas alors le besoin de s’exprimer sur l’Homme qui est à l’origine de ce patrimoine intellectuel, artistique et surtout spirituel ?

      Ce silence devait sans nul doute cacher une raison plus que valable…

      Pour en savoir plus sur le Docteur Dahesh la journaliste aurait donc contacté un certain nombre d’intellectuels Libanais ayant connu ou entendu parler de « ce collectionneur ».

      Le Docteur Dahesh était en effet très connu au Liban à l’époque où il y vivait. Bon nombre d’intellectuels l’ont effectivement côtoyé, et auraient certainement eu beaucoup à dire.

      Où se trouvent leurs témoignages ?

      Il ne fait aucun doute que La personnalité du Docteur Dahesh est très complexe pour qui désire sérieusement se pencher sur cette figure emblématique qui n’a pas uniquement consacré sa vie à acquérir des œuvres artistiques, mais dont l’œuvre littéraire est impressionnante.

      Où est décrite cette facette du Docteur ? La journaliste n’y fait aucune allusion.

      Les termes qu’elle emploie dans son article ne laissent planer aucun doute quant à l’idée qu’elle s’est forgée du Docteur Dahesh. L’opinion qu’elle s’est faite l’a donc naturellement poussée à centrer son interview sur l’histoire des œuvres exposées, reléguant ainsi le Docteur Dahesh au rôle de mécène aujourd’hui transmis à Madame Mervat Zahid.

      Certains des propos de la journaliste frôlent même l’irrespect : Oui, Le Docteur Dahesh a toujours prôné l’émancipation de la femme, mais est-il venu à l’esprit de cette brillante journaliste que ce terme a toujours désigné, dans l’esprit du Docteur, l’évolution spirituelle de la femme, au même titre que celle de l’homme.

      L’ignorance est la servitude de l’Homme et c’est pour sortir de ce cycle infernal que le Docteur Dahesh a toujours poussé les femmes de son entourage à se défaire de ce joug invisible, souvent imposé par l’homme.

      Au lieu de développer cet aspect tout à fait noble de la personnalité du Docteur Dahesh, la journaliste en a fait un séducteur qui aurait même rencontré Jane Mansfield, l’icône sexuelle de son époque ! Peut-être l’a-t-il effectivement rencontrée, tout autant que d’autres personnalités connues de l’époque, mais les circonstances de ces rencontres ne laissent planer aucun doute quant à leurs intentions désintéressées, et le sous-entendu de Madame Kino est fort regrettable …et pourtant, ses talents journalistiques doivent être appréciés d’Amira Zahid puisqu’il s’agit de sa seconde interview avec elle…


      Mais peut-on véritablement en vouloir à cette journaliste ?

      Bon, Mme Kino a donc souhaité compléter son information auprès d’Amira Zahid. C’est son métier, elle reçoit un salaire pour cela, et s’étant vu opposer à nouveau des réponses évasives lorsqu’il s’agissait de parler de la personnalité du Docteur Dahesh, on comprend qu’elle a souhaité élargir son champ d’investigation.

      Mais nous émettons une réserve sur l’identité des personnes qu’elle prétend alors avoir rencontré car il semble que celles-ci n’aient certainement pas approché ou connu suffisamment le Docteur Dahesh pour être à même d’en parler en des termes qui reflètent la réalité ainsi que Sa véritable personnalité. Si tel avait été le cas, des propos plus nobles et plus élogieux auraient été écrits à son sujet à la place de ces remarques sarcastiques qui salissent Sa mémoire et blessent les fidèles Daheshistes.

      Mais qui est donc intervenu pour la guider voire la contrecarrer dans son analyse ?
      Qui est venu se récrier contre l’image qu’elle donnait du Docteur ?
      L’a-t-on contacté après la parution, de son article ?

      En tant que Daheshiste et membre de Daheshville je laisse à chacun l’opportunité de réfléchir à la responsabilité qu’il/elle porte en laissant dire où écrire des propos qui ne reflètent en RIEN la Personnalité Du Docteur, qui discréditent non seulement Sa personne, mais également La Mission Daheshiste.

      Il est important que chacun puisse faire entendre sa voix afin que la vérité soit rétablie et ce quel qu’en soit le prix…

      Si les journalistes professionnels rédigent des articles de cette nature quand il s’agit d’évoquer La personnalité du Docteur Dahesh, que pouvons-nous espérer de ce qui sera écrit par toutes autres personnes s’emparant du sujet du Docteur Dahesh ?
      Last edited by Astrid; 08-28-2009, 12:44 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Translation

        Originally posted by Astrid View Post
        I am sorry because I need to express myself in French ( I couldn't really write those thoughts in english) and I thank Mario in advance if he could just summarize my words for those who do not speak french.
        The following is a translation of Astrid's response.

        Thank you Ziyad for having informed us of this article's existence in "The National" magazine. This interview that was granted by Amira Zahid allows once again the journalist Carol Kino to publish an article about Doctor Dahesh and the Dahesh Museum. Such an event is so rare that I really felt the urgency of sharing a number of remarks with the whole of those reader who are interested in the subject.

        In 1997, Amira Zahid had already met with this same reporter and had granted her an interview concerning the Dahesh Museum.

        At that period, the reporter asked questions about the museum as well as about Doctor Dahesh — who was at the origin of the works of art being shown.

        Amira Zahid had, therefore, clearly expressed her intention of not pouring her heart out about the subject of Doctor Dahesh, thus allowing the following idea to float around in the mind of Carol Kino: that maybe there exists some sort of Daheshist Cult behind the Dahesh Museum, the Daheshist Publishing Company, and the Daheshist Library — since all of these entities belonged to the Zahid family.

        At that time, Amira Zahid preferred to avoid discussing Doctor Dahesh and entrenched herself behind silence and definitely put an end to any follow-up question by way of a cursory response:

        An edifying "No Comment."

        This unexpected silence has certainly taken the reporter aback.

        Having been repeatedly placed at the forefront of the scene, Amira Zahid therefore takes on the serious responsibility with regard to the Person she supposedly represents and whose spokesperson she is: Doctor Dahesh

        It could have been differently; other people could have played this role of interacting with the Public without her family eventually being embarrassed for having been associated with Daheshism as a Religion.

        Instead, The Dahesh Museum preferred — in an article published in 1996 in ART NEWS magazine — to diffuse the thesis that Doctor Dahesh was not a Prophet and that — rather — this was a flight of fancy fabricated by people who call themselves "Daheshists."

        Since no Daheshist had really contested this by publicly raising his voice in order to decry that which has been already been published, the community of Daheshists at large is therefore considered to be in consent with the allowing of this myth about Doctor Dahesh to grow — as well as permitting to the people at the origin of such a point of view to continue to communicate with the public with this perspective.

        By positioning herself as the official interface with the public, who better than Amira Zahid to quench the insatiable thirst that Ms. Carol Kino seems to be feeling with regard of the subject of Doctor Dahesh — the man who is at the origin of the Dahesh Museum?

        In addition to this aspect of "Art Collector" — whose works of art were really collected mainly for spiritual reason, a fact that is of course never evoked — that has easily been spread to public-at-large, Doctor Dahesh wrote a monumental body of literary work...

        Therefore, do we not feel the need to express ourselves about The Man who is at the origin of this intellectual, artistic and — especially — spiritual legacy?

        This silence certainly had to have a more-than-valid reason behind it ...

        To learn more about Doctor Dahesh, the journalist (supposedly) contacted a certain number of Lebanese intellectuals who had known — or knew of — "this collector."

        Doctor Dahesh was in fact very well known in Lebanon during the era he lived there. A good number of intellectuals had in effect rubbed elbows with him, and they certainly would have had a lot to say.

        Where is their testimony?

        It is without a doubt that the personality of Doctor Dahesh is very complex for anyone who seriously desires to lean towards this emblematic figure who has not solely dedicated his life to acquiring works of art, but whose literary work is impressive.

        Where is this facet of the Doctor described? The journalist makes no mention of that at all.

        The terms she uses in her article leave no room for any doubt a the idea she ( Carol Kino) had formed about Doctor Dahesh. The opinion she has formed had naturally pushed her to focus her interview on the history of the displayed works (of art), thus relegating Doctor Dahesh to the role of patron of the arts — which has been since passed on to Mrs. Mervat Zahid.

        Certain of the topics brought on by the journalist even brush against disrespect: Yes, Doctor Dahesh had always advocated female emancipation; but did it ever occur to the mind of this brilliant journalist that this word (emancipation) had always meant, in the mind of Doctor Dahesh, the spiritual evolution of woman, on equal footing with man?

        Ignorance is Man's servitude et it is in order to get out of this infernal cycle that Doctor Dahesh always pushed the women of his entourage to free themselves from this invisible yoke — a yoke that is often imposed by man.

        Instead of developing this totally noble aspect of the personality of Doctor Dahesh, the journalist makes him out to be a seducer — one who would have even met Jane Mansfield, the sex icon of her era! Maybe he did in fact meet her, just as he would have many other well-known personalities of the day; but the circumstances under which they met leave no room for doubt as far as their benevolent (selfless) intentions, and Ms. Kino's innuendo is greatly regrettable ... and yet, her talents as a journalist must have been appreciated by Amira Zahid, since this was the second interview with her ...

        But can we truly blame this journalist?

        Fine, Ms. Kino wanted to complete the information she first received from Amira Zahid. That is her job, she is paid a salary for that, and having found herself — once again — up against [a wall of] evasive answers when it came to discussing the personality of Doctor Dahesh, we can understand that she wanted to widen her field of investigation.

        But we have some reservations when it comes to the identity of the people she pretends to having met with; because it seems that these people have certainly not come in contact with — nor have known sufficiently enough — Doctor Dahesh in order for them to be able to speak of him in terms that reflect reality as well as His true personality.

        Had that been the case, nobler and more laudatory comments would have been written about him — instead of these sarcastic remarks that tarnish his memory and hurt the loyal Daheshists.

        But who, then, has intervened in order to guide her — or even to oppose her in her analysis?

        Who came and exclaimed him or herself against the image she was painting of Doctor Dahesh?

        Was she ever contacted after the publication of her article?

        As a Daheshist and member of Daheshville, I leave to each person the opportunity to ponder the responsibility he or she carries by allowing anything that reflects NOTHING on the personality of Doctor Dahesh — that not only discredit His person, but the Daheshist Mission as well — to be uttered or written.

        It is important that every one is able to let his or her voice be heard in order for the truth to be restored and whatever cost ...

        If the professional journalists (themselves) write articles of this nature when it comes to evoking the personality of Doctor Dahesh, what can we then hope to expect will be written by all other people who seize the subject of Doctor Dahesh?

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is Carol Kino's web site, if anyone is interested in contacting her and voicing their opinion: http://www.carolkino.com

          Comment


          • #6
            I wonder where she got her journalism degree?

            Little Debbie State?
            ________________________________________________
            "Call me late, just don't call me late for dinner."-Checker Flag Bubba

            Comment


            • #7
              Napoleon

              According to informed sources...actually, I don't know how informed they really are...Napoleon while in Egypt (this was during his occupation of Egypt) studied and may even have converted to Islam as did one of his generals.

              Since the genre of art is said to have its origins in his imperialist adventure...well it makes me wonder, since it my understanding is that Dr. Dahesh gathered this art as sort of an effort to gather and defragment to some extent those spiritual fluids that would be attracted to the light of his guidance. Makes you wonder what connection that whole thing has to Napoleon's era.
              Last edited by zionic; 08-29-2009, 03:35 PM. Reason: typos and clarification
              ________________________________________________
              "Call me late, just don't call me late for dinner."-Checker Flag Bubba

              Comment


              • #8
                .

                Originally posted by zionic View Post
                Makes you wonder what connection that whole thing has to Napoleon's era.
                I do believe you're on to something here...
                "Fail, to succeed."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ziyad View Post
                  I stumbled upon this lengthy article that was published yesterday in The National, a quite serious newspaper that was launched a few years ago by the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates.

                  I have mixed feeling about the article, and I guess you'll understand why when reading it

                  http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs....708209994/1008
                  I briefly looked at these posts initially in late August when they were posted. To be honest, I was extremely busy and did not have time to thoroughly read the article nor all the commentary. My perspective in reading the article was broad in that I didn't simply read about Dr Dahesh, nor did I focus on a possibly defensive posture that Amira may have taken. I tried to read it with an open mind considering what was said about the difficulty a person transplanted from an Arabic Culture experienced in the United States. I tried to consider the political climate in New York and the US as it dealt with the aftermath of 9/11. I also considered the author's appraisal of Academic Art and the public hostility that the Museum initially experienced. And, I think I need to continue evaluating this because I am certain that there are aspects I haven't fully digested or considered yet.

                  There seems to me to be plausible reason to believe that the Zahids may have been intimidated by circumstances. This may have caused the use of bad judgment that once used was difficult to back away from. Position and pride probably further complicated the situation. And what we don't know is, how did the male members of the Zahid family react to any potential embarrassment. I need to ponder further, before I make anymore comments.

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