Sami Rasouli is known to many in the Twin Cities for his popular restaurant Sinbad’s, and the welcoming atmosphere he created there as an introduction to the Middle East. After 9/11 and the start of the Iraq War, he returned to his homeland and soon founded the Muslim Peacemaker Team. Sami also met with artists in Karbala, and then starting using art as a catalyst for mutual understanding between people of all faiths and cultures, which has since become The Iraqi Art Project.
Kaia Svien is a mindfulness meditation instructor and a community organizer. Her artistic endeavors include a novel, altar-making, and ceremonial design and facilitation for life transitions. Kaia met Sami when she was working on the Iraq Photo Project with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The Project, a response to the wretched treatment of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib, involved 4000 Americans sending photos of themselves holding messages of apology, compassion and wishes for a peaceful future to Iraqi citizens. Sami translated many of the messages and shared the photos on his trips to Iraq.
Related Events during Art-A-Whirl
Send an Artful Message of Peace to Iraqi Schoolchildren
See the art of Iraqi schoolchildren, presented by an American art teacher.
Hear the children's longing for peace in letters written recently by them.
Respond by making a piece of art that will be hand-carried to them in June.
Presentation: Saturday, May 19, 1:30pm at the Casket Arts Building, 4th floor
The Iraq-MN Art Project with Kate Claason and Mary Levins.
Stories of Iraqi Art, Culture and Peacemaking During Occupation with Sami Rasouli
Former Minneapolis restaurateur and current director of Muslim Peacemaker Teams/Iraq, will stir your imagination and open your heart with stories about Iraqi culture, art, and peacemaking during the time of occupation. See Iraqi art -- paintings, posters, notecards, hear Iraqi music and make a piece of art for peace that Sami will take home to Iraqi schoolchildren.
Presentation: Saturday, May 19, 5pm at the Casket Arts Building, 4th floor
Chat with Sami: Saturday, May 19, 4-6pm at the Iraq-MN Art Project Booth.
Sami Rasouli will also speak and answer questions about "Peacemaking in Iraq"
Sunday, May 20 at 3pm
The California Building, Studio #501
2205 California St. NE, 55418
Contact Susan Armington: 612-432-1803
To contact Sami Rasouli, Director of The Muslim Peacemaker Teams and The Iraqi Art Project: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marya Morstad was the recipient of the 2004 National Federation of Community Broadcasters “Golden Reel” award for best local documentary for "Art and Spirit Matters: Arts and Religion in the Twin Cities." Morstad is the host of “Art Matters” a weekly arts program on KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio.