Bringing Faiths Together in Artwork

March 31, 2007

Author: Margaret Gabriel

Source: Lexington Herald-Leader

Rumi, an 11th-century Persian mystic and spiritual teacher, is also an oft-quoted poet and philosopher who promoted unity among people of faith 1,000 years ago.

Rumi's reflection "Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart," describes the work of artist Haydar Hatemi, whose exhibit "Stories of the Messengers" will be on display at the Headley-Whitney Museum starting today.

A native of Iran, Hatemi lived for many years in Turkey and came to the United States in 1997 on a special worker visa and settled with his wife, Shams, in Lexington because his sons were attending the University of Kentucky.

In 2001, Hatemi began studying the Torah, the Bible and the Koran, finding similar stories in each text.

"Most prophets are mentioned in all three," Hatemi said through his son, Lachin, a medical student at the University of Kentucky who interprets for his father.