1) WALL HANGING
This wall hanging was a gift from my former graduate student Noor Zaidi, GR’15. It comes from Pakistan and lights up my space. To me, it represents the arduous pattern and paths of dissertation work.
2) THE ROCK
Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson graces every space in which I live, thanks to my youngest son, who taught me who to love the WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment]. I also try to imitate that facial expression in difficult meetings.
3) PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPH
This is a photograph of an Ottoman eunuch, formerly employed in royal Ottoman palaces. It was probably taken in 1909, when all of these men lost their jobs. I admire his dignity as he smokes outside what looks like Topkapi Palace, and hope that he was able to make a living with the sales of this picture as a postcard, or as a guide to the palace.
4) CERAMIC ROBE
This ceramic robe is full of protection and grace. It was made for me by the mother of one of my graduate students to bring me health and caring. I cherish her kindness.
5) NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPH
This picture of Sufi dervishes comes from an early 20th-century Ottoman newspaper. It was definitely staged, but look at the concentration in the faces of the two boys as they pose for the camera.