Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Ixsir x Eugene Cavill - the story of Noha and Semaan

Artwork by Eugene Cavill

Ixsir, one of our local wineries which thankfully escaped the appellation of "chateau" along with the boring earth tones associated with it, has collaborated with artist Eugene Cavill on a new bottle. As is the tradition lately, it has to be done within the shadow of the August 4th 2020 explosion, thankfully Cavill finds a new unexplored angle which is not just "some story of resilience" but actually delves into the story of Noha and Semaan. A very beautiful story as a matter of fact which he tells in tender and very emphatic terms. Just because the story is so well told, I am simply copy-pasting it for you to enjoy.
Of course all this is done as a bottle which you can actually purchase from (very limited and select) stores. But the effort done is truly worth the while what's with Cavill's visual sensitivity.

NOHA: the love letter.
Under one’s pillow, in an ancient, most probably inherited rusty casket, perhaps behind a pile of forgotten old clothes or maybe in a timeworn shoe box, lies Hope. Memories and souvenirs sleep.
In Noha’s case, it was the shoe box, that bygone box she had always kept.
She spent her life in a one bedroom flat in Gemmayze.
The civil war took Semaan, her husband, away. And so she kept all what reminds her of him in that shoe box. The love letters he wrote, the pictures he took and the postcards he sent. Some music tapes and even a few petals of his favorite flower, the sunflower, the one looking for the sun. Always. That chest enclosed the memories of the beautiful past, the joy she had lived and the bliss of being in love and also loved in return.
Until that one hot afternoon, that devastatingly insane explosion. The one that wiped out not only the city of Beirut, but also Noha’s reality. The blast, the Beirut port’s blast.
Losing her house, furniture, belongings and jewelry was not what overwhelmed her the most. It was the box! She had lost the box.
She felt Semaan was then killed again, for the tangible souvenirs he had left were all gone now. Her sole connection to him was destroyed. And this time, absolutely nothing could hold back the rage in her eyes or lessen the pain in her heart.
Hope died. And so did Noha, a year and a half after the tragedy.
This artwork is dedicated to Noha, to her memory, and above all to her precious shoe box.