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Inspirational San Diego Artist to Unveil New Painting in Honor of Palestinian Artist Naji al-Ali

Press contact: Zahi Damuni, Ph.D.
Phone: 760-685-3243
Email: zahi@al-awdasandiego.org

For Immediate Release

San Diego, February 9, 2005 - Inspirational San Diego artist and activist Mario Torero announced today that he will be displaying his new painting in celebration of Naji al-Ali, the well-known Palestinian political cartoonist and martyr on February 12, 2005 at an event organized by Al-Awda San Diego and Students for Justice at UCSD. The event, in honor of the late Naji al-Ali, will be held at UCSD and will include an Arabic dinner and expert presentation entitled "Naji al-Ali: Character, Symbols, and Relevance" by professor Fayeq Oweis from San Francisco State University. Dr. Oweis is himself also an accomplished artist who was involved in the design
of the recently unveiled Arab Cultural Mural in downtown San Francisco. He also created a design for the main entrance of the first-ever Arab American National Museum currently under construction in Dearborn, Michigan. Oweis is also the author of Elements of Unity in Islam.

Mario Torero is a political activist and artist. From 1988 to 1993 he was the Commissioner of the City of San Diego Commission of Arts and Culture, and taught at several San Diego colleges and schools. He is a co-founder of several local cultural organizations, including the Centro Cultural de la Raza, the Chicano Park Murals Outdoor Museum, and the San Diego/Tijuana artists' group United By Art (UBA). Torero has also helped organize several international artistic and cultural exchanges. His work has been exhibited in the United States, Mexico, Peru, Germany, Italy and Japan. Some of his major murals are in San Diego, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Prague. Articles about his work have appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, and USA Today. Mario Torero is especially active in Latino cultural awareness.

"We are delighted that Mario decided to exhibit his new painting in honor of Naji al-Ali for the first time at our event" said Dr. Zahi Damuni, coordinator of Al-Awda San Diego. "We expect this event to be well attended and to attract people who are interested in learning more about Naji al-Ali's work."

Nearly two decades after his assassination, Naji al-Ali's work remains an important political expression, and Handala, his most famous character, has become an iconic figure of the Palestinian refugee.

For more information on the Saturday 12 February event, go to:
http://al-awdasandiego.org/event-dinner_naji.html

To visit Mario Torero's website, go to:
http://www.fuerzamundo.org/

Photos from the event!

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Fax: 360-933-3568
Email: info@al-awdasandiego.org
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