Imagine that you are an artist. It would be hard, indeed almost impossible, for you to sell your paintings because during this time of quarantine, potential customers have recently been unable to go to galleries and now some customers would be skittish about going there because galleries are small enclosed public places. And that's assuming in the first place that you've been fortunate enough to get an exhibit.
Then imagine that you are a refugee artist. Like most aspiring artists, you have a "day job" to support you while you try to establish your artistic career. As a recently-arrived refugee there's a strong possibility that you're working at an entry-level job and if you haven't been laid off already, you've got understandable fears that you may be. And as a refugee, the traditional support system you had back home probably doesn't exist in your new land.
Now image you're an Iraqi refugee artist. In 2003, in one of the greatest tragedies to befall your country in its millennia-long history, the U.S. invaded your country. During that invasion — which was in turn one of the greatest mistakes of American history — U.S. troops guarded various buildings including the Ministry of Oil, but there were no troops guarding the Iraq Museum. That museum, which I had the great personal privilege of visiting twice around the year 2000, holds some of the great treasures from the birthplace of world civilization. It was tragically looted in the chaos which inevitably accompanies military invasions.
Common Humanity has been working with Iraqi refugee artists for the past decade and a half as a way of showing both moral support for the beautiful work they continue to create, and also as a way to provide a bit of income to them when we sell one of their paintings. And in the process we've helped Americans to see the humanity of the people of the Middle East.
Here is a chance to both own a print of one of their paintings and also to show your support for them. We have made posters of one of each of their paintings. (You can get a better view of the paintings below). Each poster costs $20; half of the proceeds will go directly to the artists, and the rest will cover the printing, postage and handling, with a few dollars left over to help the work of Common Humanity. Posters are 17 1/2" x 12".
Mel Lehman, Director
PS: Yes, December seems a long way off, but how about ordering some of our posters for Christmas presents!
A Woman in Despair ____ All Creatures Great and Small ____ Feelings ____
Who Are You? ____ Blue Vase ____ Iraqi Mona Lisa ____
Poseiden's Wrath ____ Arabian Horses ____ Faraway Thoughts _____
Eating Watermelon in Old Baghdad ____ Lime Green ____ Splash ____
Mosque ____ Baghdad Woman __ Music and Memories* ____
*Nizar Al Hattab is a Syrian artist now in Europe
Each print $20 each, postage and handling included. Special offer: 3 posters for $50 ($10. still goes to each artist) Total:_______ (Not tax-deductible)
Contribution for the peacemaking work of Common Humanity _______ (Tax deductible)
Make check payable to and mail form to: Mail prints to:
Common Humanity ____________________________________
Attn: Mel Lehman
310 Riverside Drive, Suite 511 ____________________________________
New York, NY 10025
Email (optional) ____________________________________
Add me to Common Humanity's mailing list _____ and/or email list ____
A Woman in Despair
by Sara Masoud
All Creatures Great and Small
by Nidaa Risan
by Majid Hashem
Who Are You?
by Omar Odeh
by Khalid Alaani
Iraqi Mona Lisa
by Danya Kubba
by Raya Maki
by Amer Ali
by Ataa al-Baghdadi
Eating Watermelon in Old Baghdad
by Ahmed Baban
by Waseem Ahmed
by Ahmad Abdulrazzaq
by Lubna Mousa
by Wadhah Mahdi
Music and Memories
by Nizar Al Hattab, a Syrian artist now living in Europe