Troy, New York, October 2008

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On October 18th former marine and author Tyler Boudreau (Packing Inferno), Amherst artist Matt Mitchell (100 Faces of War Experience), visiting Iraqi artist Thamer Dawood and I traveled from the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts to The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, New York where we co-hosted an afternoon of painting and socializing with a group of recently resettled Iraqi refugee children/youth and their families. The day was the culmination of weeks of organizing by a network of people and groups who worked together both in Western Massachusetts and in the Albany/Troy NY area to make the day an unqualified success in every way.

Sanctuary for Independent Media video

What you see are the five small (36" x 60") murals that were painted over the course of that afternoon.

About the Iraqi flag painting: "Iraqi flag and black teardrops representing the sadness of Iraq and the people of Iraq; God will suffice. Painted by Shahad Jassim, Wedd Jassim, and Semon Sayyid

Mosque and Birds: The birds are carrying the people’s complaints to God. Painted by Bassima Hussain and Noora Attiyah

The Albany area coalition: Sanctuary for Independent Media, Iraq Refugee Project, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Women Against War, Women’s Association for Family Affairs, The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

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