Common Humanity 

    Peacemaking through Understanding, Respect and Friendship with the Middle East and Muslim World



    Syrian Art Exhibit in New York at Second Presbyterian Church

    Common Humanity in Collaboration with Khawam Gallery Presents:


    NEW YORK, NY  October 18, 2019 — “Contemporary Syrian Art,” an exhibit of remarkable works by some of Syria’s leading contemporary artists, will be on exhibit at the Second Presbyterian Church in New York City during the first three Fridays and Saturdays of November.  


    The paintings reflect the highly accomplished work of the contemporary art scene in Syria today.  Despite eight and a half years of war, Syrian artists have continued to create art of the highest quality.  While none of the works are political in nature, the influence of the war is reflected in the style and content of a number of the paintings. The paintings are for sale to benefit the artists. 


    The exhibit is free and open to the public on the following dates:  

        November 1 and 2, 8 and 9, and 15 and 16, 2019

        Fridays 6 - 8 pm and Saturdays Noon - 4 pm

        Second Presbyterian is located at 96th Street and Central Park West on the south side.


    An opening reception will be held on November 1 with brief comments by Common Humanity Director Mel Lehman.  The exhibit is presented by Common Humanity in cooperation with Khawam Gallery with the aim of shining a light on the human side of the war and its impact on the artists, while promoting peace efforts in the war-torn country.   In addition to the paintings, the exhibit will include several dozen Christmas and New Year cards drawn by art students at the Universities of Aleppo and Damascus and sent to Americans who participated in Common Humanity’s Christmas and New Year’s Card Exchange last year.


    Participating artists:  Nizar Sabour, Bassem Dahdouh, Reem Tarraf, Omran Younis, Tony Khawam, Elias Ayoob, Nimat Badawi, Bachir Badawi, Ghada Haddad, Nizar Alhattab.


    Tony Khawam, one of the artists whose work is displayed in the exhibit, is a Syrian-American artist who was born in Aleppo.  He is the Curator of Khawam Gallery in Boca Raton, Florida, and led the effort to bring the paintings from Syria.  “My aim is to raise awareness in the hope of changing the perception from destruction — of haunting and disturbing scenes to hopeful, colorful neighborhoods that are filled with life,” Khawam said. 


    About Common Humanity

    Common Humanity is a non-profit organization based in New York City which seeks to build understanding, respect and friendship with the Middle East and Muslim world.  We believe that the road to peace in the Middle East lies in recognizing the humanity of people on all sides of the conflict we’re in.  Instead of sending more guns to the Middle East, we should be sending compassion and humanitarian relief supplies.  For more information please visit   


    About Khawam Gallery

    Khawam Gallery is a collective artists gallery which has been organizing group exhibitions since 2017 with themes focussing on today’s socio-political issues such as displacement, war and immigration.  Other themes are based on the process of making art in which materials play a large part of the process.  The Gallery presents artists from different cultural backgrounds and has been active in the local communities presenting a series of multi-cultural art exhibitions at art fairs, gallery spaces, Institutions’ galleries, and special corporate events.  To learn more about Khawam Gallery, please visit


    About Second Presbyterian Church NYC

    Second Presbyterian is a congregation that embraces diversity and community and affirms the dignity and worth of every person, for all are created in the image of God.  This exhibit is part of the congregation’s peacemaking work.  More at


    Press contact: Mel Lehman

    212-865-6115;  718-200-3794