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Assorted Memories                               Art  221-­‐501   Research  Methods   Tarfa  Khalid     M80002500      


My name is Tarfa. I was born a little over two decades ago in a city called Taif in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I was born at the end of a war, The Gulf War; you might be familiar with it. Shortly after my birth the war ended. My mother told me that a boy was born close to my mothers delivery room and he was named “Nasser” Meaning Victor. My aunt used to joke when I was little, saying they were going to name me “Nassra” Meaning Victoria, now the English translation doesn’t seem so bad, but the Arabic name is kind of lame. I am a student at Zayed University studying Graphic Design. I enjoy long walks along the beach.

Introduction My nuclear family consists of my father, mother and me until January 1999. My parents were blessed with another bouncing baby girl. I, on the other hand, was not so blessed. I was an only child, I was used to getting all the attention. My new sister took that from me.

I was not really an only child, but I was the only child of my mothers. My father was married and divorced before he met my mother. He had three children from that marriage, two boys and one girl. They are all much older than I am. I already have two nieces.


My father’s parents are no longer with us. Five years ago I lost my Grandfather on my mothers side, may got have mercy on their souls. My grandmother on my mother’s side is still with us and for much longer Inshallah. I’m close with my grandmother. Here is a little secret for you readers, I am her favorite grandchild.

My family and I moved to the states when I was two years old. It was just my mother, father and I. My dad was a fighter pilot in the Saudi Arabian Air Force. We moved back to Saudi Arabia when my mother found out she was having my baby sister.

Objects hold great stories and evoke many memories, some sad some happy. I will be looking at some objects that belong to my family, objects that are noticeably meaningful.


Grandfather’s Grandfather Clock For my first object I will be investigating the origins of my grandfather’s Grandfather clock standing 220cm tall 60cm wide. Made with solid mahogany with a matt finish. Bought by King Saud, Second King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from Germany in 1957. When I first asked my mother about objects she told me about this clock right away, knowing its significance to my father. After King Faisal took the throne, he sold most of King Saud’s belongings. My grandfather on my father’s side purchased this grandfather clock in 1965. He had the clock till the time of his passing in 1977. My father declined the inheritance that was rightfully he to possess this grandfather clock, the sentimental value of this clock priceless in my father’s eyes. The interview that was conducted was scattered from my father to mother to aunts. The interview was merely fact collecting I felt the need to be sympathetic to the feelings of the individuals involved. Not wanting to exploit such feelings when there is no need to. Knowing its sentimental value is enough to last this object for generations to come. The grandfather clock still works to this day.


Used Book

In 1998, I was a seven-year-old living in Virginia, USA. I recently started wearing glasses. I wanted to elaborate my intellectual persona by getting a thick book. Just so happens there was a garage sale in the neighborhood we used to live in. My father took me to browse though my first garage sale. I found the book that I wanted to use a prop for my new persona. An 800 page paperback novel entitled “Forbidden Fruit” By Erica Spindler. The cover is eerie and mysteries, the font of the title almost matching the size of the author’s name. As a child I thought that made a book seem smarter. As a young adult I read this book, lets just say it is not very appropriate for a 7 year old to read. I asked my father and mother what they thought of me when I got that book my father said “I found it funny, a seven year old with glasses and a big book in her hand. It was adorable, even thought it was apparent that she wouldn’t read that book.”

Then my mother added” That year a movie came out. It was called as I recall ‘Maddy’ or something. It was about a smart little girl who also read a lot with superpowers. I think Tarfa wanted to be something like that girl in the movie, Its always nice to have ambitions, especially when they are to be a smart person. She made us proud.”


Grand Mother’s Pearls

The third object I wanted to discuss was this stunning pearl necklace. Eight strands of baroque shaped pearls intertwined in this elegant beautiful piece of jewelry. My Grandfather on my mother’s side gifted this piece to my grandmother as a wedding gift in 1955. This necklace was passed down to my mother when she got married to my father in 1990. It was handed down to me fairly recently. Pearls were my grandmother’s favorite. when I asked her why I was surprised that her answer was the same as mine. It was not just because pearls are beautiful but because they came from the sea. Forming Pearls are the oyster's way of protecting itself from foreign substances. This goes back to her motto. When something bad happens you should turn it into something beautiful, like a pearl.


Sea Lamp Ever since I could remember the sea has fascinated me. My father started diving in 1995. Knowing my love for the oceans, he used to get me amazing seashells the size of my head. Over the years my collection of seashells rose exponentially. Converting shells into use of daily items ashtrays, plates, soup holders and my father turned two of my favorite shells into lamps. The seashells are approximately the size of an adult human head, rough exterior and smooth interior, a hole extending from the back of the shell connecting the light bulb to a power source. The light switch is set to dim. The soft glow of the light is very calming and beautiful. However, I don’t turn it on as much anymore. It’s over 10 years old and the wiring is questionable at best.


Epilogue I have learned, not so much learned but knew whole-heartedly my whole life that memories and sentimental value is much more meaningful than all the riches of the world. The researches that have been conducted made me value the things that I never even glanced twice on. For instance, the clock, it moved with my family and me every house we lived in, to be honest I thought it was a little ugly when I was younger. When i heard its true story I realize how much it meant to my father, I saw its true beauty. I couldn't conduct a proper interview with him because he got a little chocked up. I never thought my father would ever show that side of him to me. The message my grandmother told me surprised me; she was always an insightful woman. The words she taught me will remain in my heart; I should always make the best of every situation and turn them into pearls. The book taught me to always be myself and never try to be something I’m not. I should sincerely try to change. Not just for show for myself. I will never look at an object the same; every object has a story to tell. It might not be a story worthwhile, but a story non-the less. That object might have changed someone’s life at one point, been a turning point for another or just something that inspires someone to create something. We don’t need to buy into the consumerism ideology. An object does not need to be new or expensive to have value.

Assorted Memories  

Every Object has a story. These are some objects from my life and generations before and their stories.