Patriots & Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to our Country
Arab Americans have been an integral part of our nation since its inception. They have contributed greatly to our society and have fought and died in every U.S. war defending our constitution and democracy.
Patriots & Peacemakers places special emphasis on the participation of Arab Americans in three specific areas of national service: the U.S armed forces, diplomatic service, and the Peace Corps. Personal narratives highlight Arab American men and women of different national and religious backgrounds. True stories of heroism and self-sacrifice affirm the important role Arab Americans have played in our country throughout its history and encourage visitors to consider how commitment to service impacts them in their daily lives.
Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community's Life & Legacy
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 exhibit 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.
What We Carried: Fragments & Memories from Iraq & Syria
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.