A Storefront Exhibition
The Republic of Iraq is home to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The region between these rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is considered to be the cradle of civilization of Western society. In 2003 the United States organized an international coalition to invade Iraq. This war and the ongoing conflict displaced millions of Iraqis. Those that assisted American forces were in grave danger, and many have resettled in the U.S. Erie is now home to over 3,500 Iraqis. Several have opened markets offering Mediterranean delicacies, fresh produce, Halal meat, and home furnishings.
Special thanks to Ghadeh Hussein for lending her objects and for graphic design assistance.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Formerly a part of Yugoslavia, the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. The Serbian army invaded in 1992, with the intent of genocide of the Bosnian people. Thousands died and even more became refugees. Erie's Bosnian community is about 2,500 strong. If you visit a Bosnian home, whether in Sarajevo or Erie, you will be offered a small cup of very strong coffee and a piece of rahat lokum, a confection of sugar and starch often flavored with rose water, walnuts, or pistachios.
Special thanks to Mensura and Nijaz Berberovic for lending their
objects, and Merjam Garic for assistance with the display.
Also thanks to these Iraqui markets for their support:
New Sara's International Markets, 660 East 12th Street and 460 East 12th Street
Almadina Market, 2325 Parade Street
Hani Market, 1027 State Street
Lemon Fresh Meat Market, 2601 Parade Street
Palm Tree Market, 2702 Parade Street
State Street Market, 1022 State Street
About this Project
Erie is now home to over 10,000 resettled refugees. Erie has always been a city of immigrants, from the original Scots-Irish, English, and African American settlers through waves of German, Irish, Italian, and Eastern Europeans. Today's immigrants have fled war and persecution, lost family, homes, and professions. They are grateful to begin again in a new country and language, working hard, starting businesses, and encouraging their children to succeed. They bring cultural and economic vitality to our community.
This is a project of Preservation Erie and the Erie Art Museum's Folk Art Program. Preservation Erie believes the built landscape of Erie and northwest Pennsylvania is a tangible expression of our richly layered social, cultural, and industrial history. Cultural preservation works in tandem with restoring and maintaining the natural and built environment. Collectively, they shape our collective regional identity and sense of place.
Graphic Designer and Project Assistant, Cassandra Unger
Project Director, Kelly Armor, Erie Art Museum Folk Art Director