I am Yemenite 3
Medium: Glass Mosaic
Materials: Stained Glass, Handmade Jewelry, Shells, Buttons & Beads
Dimensions: 18” H x 14” W
This mosaic won third place in the handmade category in the 2022 Canvas Pontiac Competition
“I Am Yemenite 3” was inspired by the plight of Yemenite children who were evacuated during “On the Wings of Eagles,” AKA “Operation Magic Carpet,” and those who perished along the way. The look of somber skepticism on the face of this young girl speaks to the harsh conditions during the arduous journey to Aden, the extraction point for nearly 50,000 Jews during the evacuation mission.
Walking from 1,000 locations in Yemen, for weeks, even months through mountains and deserts, they faced robbery, starvation, disease, and wild animals. Many perished along the way. Once they reached Aden, they were placed into poorly resourced temporary camps.
Before the health risks the children faced during the evacuation, conditions for the Jews in Yemen were so extreme that close to 60% of the children did not survive. Without legal, social, or economic protection and nonexistent health care, death was part of daily life.
The distinctive jewelry and clothing designs of Haban worn by this young girl have specific significance. While Jews from all parts of Yemen wore jewelry and clothing styles designed to ward off evil and seek protection from God and mystical forces, the Jews from this region were often laden with heavy jewelry and allowed to wear colorful clothing. The hairstyle and clothing from Haban were unique to the region.