|Photo by Motoya Nakamura, The Oregonian|
I will give you the readers digest version of this story and links at the end if you'd like to read more.
Samir is an Iraqi refugee, he fled Iraq when the opposition discovered he'd been painting US solders. He then waited in Turkey 5 years for political asylum. Samir started painting at age 4, he's now 33. During his painting career in Iraq he painted Saddam Hussein 83 times. People knew who he was there. When he arrived in Portland last fall, no one knew who he was. He was alone, no money, and could not speak English. All he wanted to do was paint and learn English. But living in a small apartment with 4 other refugees made that almost impossible. Until now.
Samir, who would now like to be called Sam, moves in to his new apartment this week. It just so happens it's above the art studio he's started using recently in the Falcon! Thanks to Brian Wannamaker, of the Falcon Art Community, Sam has these places to get started until July! He will also be taking English classes at PCC.
If you'd like to see more of Sam's work, please come the Falcon Art Community Spring Open Studio April 22nd at 6pm. Or check out these photos.
I would like to thank the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization and his caseworker Margret for really going the extra mile to help Sam and the people they come in contact with.
And now I ask: What can art do for you?
Want to read more of this story? Enjoy these links!