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El Khawi

Oil on canvas
38.5 x 28.5 ” (98 x 72.5 cm)

Many Saudies discriminate against Black people, though it’s not openly discussed. This portrait is of my mother’s driver, a man who was very dear to me. I wanted to give him the dignity I felt he deserved, so I asked him to wear the traditional costume of the founding king’s guards. The big mistake was that he should have worn the red coat (Jookhah) under and not over the weapons—both he and I were ignorant of this. I, because I presumed he knew better, and he, because he was never actually given the status of royal guard.