by Oliver J. Dunbar

The essay and sketches included here were sent to us by Oliver J. Dunbar, currently detained at Krome North Processing Center. Mr. Dunbar is a highly trained artist and chef. He has also written to us about his life and treatment in detention in a post on March 13.

I always like to begin by saying imagine yourself walking in the footsteps of one of the greatest painters, visual artists, and exploring the world just by looking out of someone else's eyes, and experiencing cultural history.

I enjoy drawing when I am not cooking and making delicious dishes. I am known for my art talent in fine arts. I was an art major in college, and also studies visual arts, among other things. But I loved the ancient arts of Egypt because the Egyptians' history is not so open to the public. That's why I draw a lot of their art and love the name "Pharaohs."

The vibrant cultural and culinary delights of Egypt has always been very educational in so many ways to me while I was studying visual arts in college back in 1988 after graduating from high school. I used to think I would walk in the Nile.

The pyramids of Giza and the other temples, viewing outside from platforms or just creating a sketch of myself standing between the paws of the great Sphinx. My artwork puts me right there sometimes.

I remember when I was younger my grandmother used to tell me stories of the tomb of the pyramid builders in Giza, and that it was an active excavation site discovered by a doctor who made most of the location closed to toursts, and history about the Queen's subterranean chambers that you can even see in most of my drawings.

I have made complete drawings of the Valley of Kings. But ancient Egypt has many insights and perspectives into Egypt's valued world. When sketching the artifacts ahd relics in addition to the prized cultural secrets never told before, everything is always new when you see it, hear about it, or draw it on paper. I see it as an experience from the start to the finish. But my next artwork will be a drawing of the Temple of Philae.

The more I research about the ancient study of the Egyptians from their cultural and culinary artwork, architecture and jewelry, they were very intelligent. Their art is to be looked at and to be questioned. So yes I am deeply inspired and moved to draw the Ruff Ancient Egyptians' skylines that I enjoy to work on in my small collection that I have now.