Through Abahay’s Eyes: A Somali-American reflection on civil rights, heritage, war and resilience 


Born and raised in Oklahoma, Ebony Iman Dallas spent her first 23 years of life separated from family on her late father’s side. Her father was born in Hargeisa, Somalia while her mother and adoptive father are from Oklahoma. Her biological father’s untimely death and a long, bloody civil war prevented her from knowing him, her cultural heritage and family. But that all changed when Ebony unexpectedly met someone in San Francisco who knew that they were searching for her too. 

“Through Abahay’s Eyes” is a painting series that highlights this journey and is over a decade in the making. 

Ebony’s path to discovery has spanned across 7 countries and many cultures. Over the years, she has worked to process the tragedy of war, police brutality and her search to find out who her father was through art. 

This series of paintings share cultural similarities and differences discovered between Oklahoma and Somalia, stories revealed along the way and the internal dilemma of finding her place within it all.