Mariam carries the world. She cares for the Earth, she cares for others.

In my imagination, I plucked one of the women from the anonymous column of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens and gave her the name “Mariam.” The meaning of the name Mariam is rebellious, a strong woman. She is the female counterpart to Atlas. Mariam carries the world, while Atlas bears the celestial dome. As a tribute to the eternal burdens of carrying the world, I placed Mariam on a pedestal.

It’s a nice touch to tell how I came up with the name Mariam. It was during my weekly shopping rounds in 2017 at the market, at the olive stand of Battah-M from Afarkat. My sculpture had just been completed.

Battah-M from Afarkat’s young daughter was on school vacation that day and was helping her father in his specialty stall. She was attentive, helpful, and worked quickly. We struck up a conversation, and she enthusiastically told me her name was Mariam, and that her name meant a strong woman, a woman of iron. I was immediately taken with her name. It perfectly suited the intention of my new sculpture.

In the autumn vacation of 2023, I encountered Mariam again, who had grown into a young lady. She was diligently working at her father’s specialty stall. She recognized me, and we started chatting again. She was doing well in school, and I asked her what she wanted to become. She replied that she wanted to be a doctor. Mariam is strong and knows what she wants, and her father also wants her to continue her education. It’s wonderful to hear that her parents support her in this. We both enjoyed seeing each other again after all these years. Mariam, a strong woman, make your dreams come true. Until next time.



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