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A Vision for My Father


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About the Author

Rajie Cook is an internationally recognized graphic designer, artist, and activist--and the son of Najeeb and Jaleela Cook from Ramallah, Palestine. In 1967, he cofounded Cook and Shanosky Associates, Inc., a design firm, in New York City. He and his colleagues received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1984 for creating the universal pictograms that guide travelers through airports, train stations, and hotels. The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum acquired the Symbols Signs project in 2003. At 54, he made his first trip to Palestine. It was a life-changing, spiritual journey that turned him into a peace activist. Through poster art, sculptural assemblages, and film, he calls attention to the plight of the Palestinian people and the injustices they face. The father of two grown daughters, Rajie Cook lives in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife Peggy.


"A powerful and poignant expression of the Palestinian narrative of exile weaving together the aesthetic and the personal story of longing for home. Rajie Cook's personal account is an intimate revelation of the special bond between father and son in the context of the Palestinian national identity and experience. This revelation emanates from an emotional identification with an attachment to the father as a visual and artistic celebration of creative expression. The narrative is therefore multifaceted; yet it unravels in the context of an exile in the West that is essentially discriminatory and dismissive of the humanity of the Palestinian people individually and collectively."--Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

"Rajie has been able to combine his talent in design, his sensitivity, and his penchant for civic engagement in a series of powerful images that confront us with painful, contemporary realities. Through doing so, he once again demonstrates that the artist cannot separate himself from history and the human condition. If this is the message of art, then Rajie is its sublime interpreter."--Massimo Vignelli, designer

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