Exhibition Description

In the late 1800’s, Arab immigrants began settling in lower Manhattan. Their entrepreneurial spirit transformed the neighborhood, known as Little Syria, into a thriving community lined with shops, restaurants and coffeehouses, each furnished with signs written in their native Arabic. Here Arab Americans raised their families, educated their children, worshiped in churches and mosques, and gradually became part of the life of New York.

Although razed to make way for the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and later the World Trade Center, contributions of the community’s notable residents resonate still today. The exhibition documents these stories, recognizing Little Syria’s contribution to the great city of New York and providing historical context to some of today’s pressing issues.

Book Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community's Life & Legacy

Exhibition Description

Millions of Iraqi and Syrian families were driven from their homes in recent years due to war, conflict and destruction. A small fraction of them overcame the bureaucratic obstacles needed to enter the United States. The images in this exhibition are of the personal objects carried by these immigrants and refugees.

Photographer Jim Lommasson traveled the United States documenting these objects and asking their owners to write directly on the image to explain why they chose these items, above all others, to remind them of the lives they left behind. The resulting images are as beautiful as they are heartbreaking. With every image of what these immigrants and refugees managed to save, visitors also gain a better understanding of what each person has lost. The combination of carried objects and intensely personal stories illustrate the common threads that bind all of humanity: the love shared for family, friends, and the places people call home.

Book What We Carried: Fragments & Memories from Iraq & Syria




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