This series of prints is based on interviews with Syrian refugee families living in Baltimore. The interviews are conducted by Masha Hamilton and interpreted by Aisha Alfadhalah. The project is currently in progress and will culminate in an exhibition of interview excerpts with accompanying works by various Baltimore-based artists.
Fatima grew up writing poetry and dreaming of being a Quran scholar. Her husband Abdu wanted to own a butcher shop. Civil war interrupted their lives. They left Syria reluctantly for what they hoped would only be a few weeks; their neighbors tried to persuade them to stay. Two months to the day after they left, a bomb struck their Aleppo home, flattening it and killing every member of their neighbor’s family. Fatima’s biggest lesson from this experience: “If I don’t think something is right, I will make a change right away. I won’t waste time saying tomorrow will be better.” Abdu’s biggest lesson: “Starting from zero is hard.”