Zoom Peace Seminars for Classes and Groups
Lubna Mousa, above left, is a renowned Iraqi-Canadian visual artist, who spent the majority of her life in Baghdad, Iraq, working for international not-for-profit organizations. As an artist, she has used her art as a means of documenting her lived experiences, exploring themes of war, immigration, and culture. Since migrating to Canada, she has re-focused her artworks on the intersection of consumerism and climate change. Middle: "Old City," by Ms. Mousa. Right: Mel Lehman, Director of Common Humanity, which seeks to build understanding, respect and friendship between North Americans and the Arab and Muslim world.
1. Healing the Wounds of the Iraq Wars: A Conversation with
Iraqi Artist Lubna Mousa and Humanitarian Worker Mel Lehman
In 1991, the United States went to war with Iraq. 30 years and countless battles and casualties later, the many wounds of the wars are still not fully healed. Although they didn't know each other at the time, Lubna Mousa and Mel Lehman endured four nights of bombing in early December of 1998 while near each other in Baghdad. In recent years Mr. Lehman's peacemaking work with Common Humanity brought him in contact with Ms. Mousa. Join us for a hour-long interactive Zoom seminar with Q & A as they discuss what their experience has taught them, how they work for peace, and what each of us can do for peace. A printed study sheet is provided.
We firmly believe that the road to peace in the Middle East is in recognizing the humanity of people on all sides of the conflict we are in, eliciting empathy and compassion along the way. Our speaker, Lubna Mousa, is very familiar with the subject war and peace on a personal level: she lived in Baghdad during the conflicts between the U.S. and Iraq and saw the violence first hand. She continues to use art as an outlet to express herself, and explore the intersection of culture, art, and peace.
Over the years, a combination of political tensions, wars, and negative media have given rise to xenophobia as well as a lack of mutual understanding. This seminar is aimed at bridging that gap by highlighting historical and Biblical importance of the region, and providing the students a unique opportunity to ask questions and interact with Ms. Mousa directly.
More specifically, the session would start with an introduction to Common Humanity, our mandate, and the importance of fighting hatred with compassion. Then Ms. Mousa will introduce herself and the relevant themes which she explores in her work, and give some background information and fun facts on Iraq. She will discuss what it means to live in Iraq through the lens of an artist, a mother, a daughter, and a wife with the main goal of familiarizing and showing similarities between the different cultures.
2. Ancient and Modern Iraqi Art with Lubna Mousa and Mel Lehman
This class includes a brief look at the great cultural heritage of Iraq including Sumer, home of Biblical Patriarch Abraham and Matriarch Sarah and the art of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. Ms. Mousa will then discuss her own work. She is passionate about changing the narrative about Iraq as portrayed in mainstream media by being open with her personal experiences and engaging in meaningful dialogue. Students are provided with a study sheet which will include an opportunity for them to create a drawing of their own. Opportunity for questions.
Credit: Lubna Mousa
Cuneiform; first written language with letters
Pythgora's Mathematical Theory
(1,000 years before Pythgora)
Takeaways from Art Class
Learn something about Iraq
Explore art as a way of self-expression
You can turn a difficult situation in a positive situation.
Note: Both classes are adaptable for elementary, high school, and college students with some adjustments to the content as well as the duration to better suit the students’ age group.
Cost of each one-hour class: Honorarium requested. Contact: info@CommonHumanity.org.