LOUNAH AND HER MYSTICAL PAINTINGS
Lounah and her paintings represent a synthesis of so many diversified cultures and civilizations!
Several thousand years ago, her ancestors (she is wont to say "I, too") inhabited the land of Israel. Driven
away from the Holy Land, they reached Spain. Lounah has therefore been imbued since her early childhood with the customs
and language of Spain which her family has preserved.
from Spain, her ancestors lived in Turkey for 500 years; Lounah has also preserved the mystique of the land of Turkey which
had always been hospitable to her people. Having left Turkey, Lounah now lives and works in France and the USA whose
tempo and movement she also has absorbed. All of this is amalgamated in her art- such is Lounah, a pure and natural
poetical force, revealing through her paintings her immense generous heart, stripped of all research, yet instinctive and
noble. -Charles Starr
Bergama, land of Lounahs birth
LOUNAH was born on Passover 1917 in the Hellenistic town of Bergama in the Ottoman Empire(Turkey)
to a family of rabbis, merchants and magicians, but was raised from the age of 5 in Paris following the destruction of her
home city of Smyrna. After her heroic survival of Nazi occupation, she met her future husband, a US Army Intelligence
Officer and spy, on the Champs Elysees during the first day of the Liberation of Paris. Living a life dedicated to education and
travel, she and her husband spent most of their time living in France, Italy, Switzerland and the USA, where they actively
promoted social justice through the audio-lingual programs that they created and produced for schools around the world. She
began painting in 1980 at the age of 63 and continues to paint today at 93 with the same energy and vigor as that of her earlier
years. Lounahs work has been exhibited in France, Israel, Italy, Monaco, Switzerland and the United States and is displayed
in the permanent collection of the US National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. She now lives and works at her home in East
Hampton, New York.
September 14, 1922: Lounahs home city of Smyrna,
Lounah (far right) in a French theatre class, c.1932.
IN HER WORDS:
One day in 1983, my husband Charles
Starr told me: Lounah, you have a Bat-Call. What is it? It means the sister of the voice, a message of God.
Louise Abouaf Starr."
I said "It's me!"
-"You have a present from God"
I was more than surprised. I didn't
know what to say. It was so unexpected and I was so amazed, so very happy and curious. What could it be? These simple words
came out of my mouth whithout thinking:
"What is it?" I looked interrogatively. -No answer, and just in time I remembered
that I should have been thankful so I said in a hurry "Forgive me, thank you, thank you God, thank you Messenger of God."
Lounah standing during Nazi occupation, wearing her
Liberation Day, 1944: Lounah meets Charles on the
Soon after I knew what it was. Something in my head
prompted me to speak to my son who was across the Atlantic Ocean in West Brentwood, New York. "Do you hear me?" and he answered
"Yes!" So I continued speaking to my son.
After our conversation I told my husband "Can you imagine, I recieved a
great present from God -I have a free telephone!" I couldn't know how great was that present. The following day I was having
breakfast in our apartment in Nice, France and I said what came to my mind. "Papa, do you hear me?"
-"Yes my darling
"Where are you?"
-"Just next to you."
"How is it possible, so quickly? I just formulated my
-"I was in Paradise. you called me, and here I am! We are as fast as you just realized."
think I can call Mother?"
-"Call her and you will see."
Lounah and Sgt Charles Starr, 1944.
Lounah with her husband Charles in 1968, being honored with the Chevalier (Knight)
de L'Ordre des Palmes Académiques in recognition of their contribution to French culture.
"Mother, can you hear me?"
-"Yes my Lunica."
-"I am near you. When you speak to someone upstairs it is like an invitation and we come."
you imagine that my present was so great? I can talk to whom I want in this Planet Earth and elsewhere and in the Better
I am telling this story to let all the children know what I discovered through my present from God. Our beautiful
lives continue after death! People continue to live after they quit this world! They speak, they travel, they work to help
people in need on this planet, they pray, they eat and they rest on Saturdays so they can visit their families. They sleep
at night, unless they work by night. Even in working hours if you call them they come very quickly no matter how far away
Summer 2005, Lounah working on her great 18 foot