ADC Press Release

September 12, 2003<br>

Dedication of the First Deir Yassin Memorial in the United States


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Daniel McGowan

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Wednesday, September 24th at 11 A.M. the dedication of a bronze sculpture, depicting an uprooted olive tree, by internationally renowned Arab-American artist Khalil Bendib will take place at One Mile Point, Geneva, New York.

''We are dedicating the first memorial in the United States in remembrance of the victims of the massacre, which occurred on April 9, 1948 at Deir Yassin, a Palestinian village on the west side of Jerusalem,''said Daniel McGowan a professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Executive Director of Deir Yassin Remembered.

The Sculptor The most visible Arab-American artist working today in the USA, Mr. Khalil Bendib, a naturalized US citizen grew up in Morocco and Algeria and came to California at age 20.

After earning his Master's at the University of Southern California, Khalil Bendib became both a political cartoonist and a professional sculptor. In 1987 he was hired as an editorial cartoonist with the Gannett Newspapers, at the San Bernardino Sun, a position he later resigned to devote himself entirely to a career in the fine arts.

In 1994, he completed his first public monument, the "Alex Odeh Memorial Statue," a larger-than-life size bronze sculpture honoring the regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee assassinated in his Santa Ana office in 1985. Bendib also created the "Ode To Diamond Bar," a nine-foot bronze cougar at Summit Ridge Park near Los Angeles.

His work reflects his own vision of multi-culturalism and an all-embracing pacifist belief, which stems from his personal experience as an exile from his Algerian homeland when his parents fled French-colonial death threats. Jewish and Muslim communities in California have praised Bendib as a peacemaker.

His recent accomplishments include:

Currently: Completing the "César E. Chávez Memorial Monument, Los Angeles.

June 2003: Dedication of Arab Community History, 40 x 40' Mural, San Francisco.

April 2003: "The Spirit of GAIA" four 3'1/2 bronze wall sculptures, Berkeley.

August 2002: Artist residency at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

March 2002: "Venus and Mars" 7-foot wall relief, Walnut Creek.

His work has been exhibited on three continents, North America, Europe, and Africa. For more information go to