Halah Khan

دُعا (Prayer)

Halah Khan

دُعا (Prayer)



Edition Size



Acrylic, Embroidery, Ink, Pearl Cotton Thread, Wool




Artist Book


8 × 8 × 1 in




Karachi, Pakistan

$ 3,200.00


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دُعا (Prayer) is a mixed media artist book by Halah Khan. The tea-washed book features embroidery and crocheted flowers, with the cover having a central hand crocheted “taweez” (talisman), surrounded with golden “zarri” thread embroidery and a floral header piece.

Artist Statement on the series of work:

When houses are abandoned, the trees stay and provide shade to the ghosts, they remain to tell stories of the residents, an endless repetition of history that no one wants to explore.
Searching for a home you turn around a corner, you see a light that reminds of a softness, hands, eyes, a love forgotten, a poem lost… humay chahiye tha milna kisi ehd e mehrbaan mein.
Another rain, everything blooms, nothing survives, all that lives is your laughter, forever echoing off the walls of my tired heart, it haunts, I made a home out of her memories, her smile, the sound of her payal. Everything rots, dar o deewar se tapkey hai bayabaan hona…
I brought ruin to my home with words I never said, with love I never gave, I slept through the days and life rushed past me, everything goes to waste, we laugh, we love, we live… purr hai saayee ki tarah mera shabistaan mujh se…

Each book of this series carries a different notion of home, the reality of it, haqeeqat, the home one desires, khuwahish, or a prayer, dua, for the possibility of a home.

Text within دُعا (Prayer):

جہاں سانس کی گنجائش ہو
Where it is easier to breathe

دیواریں ہم پہ تنگ نہ ہوں
the walls not collapsing in on us

فضا میں تلخی نہ ہو
no bitterness in the air

الفاظ تیر سے نہ ہوں
no sharp words

باتیں چبھتی نہ ہوں
no piercing tones

نظریں جھکتی نہ ہوں
eyes un-averted

ایک ایسا آنگن جہاں خزاں کے سائے کا بھی گزر نہ ہو
a home upon which even the shadow of autumn doesn’t pass

پھول یوں کھلیں کہ ان کے مُرجھانے کا خوف نہ ہو
where flowers bloom unafraid of wilting

ہماری ہنسی کی مہک صدیوں بھٹکتی رہے یہاں
the scent of our laughter lingering for centuries

اور ہم نہ ہوں
and we may not be

ایک ایسا رنگین آنگن رہے
but, may that colorful home remain

وہ کِھلکِھلاتے چہرے رہیں
may those bright faces remain

وہ زندہ دل رہیں
may those lively hearts remain

وہ گھر سدا رہے
may that home remain forever…