We received huge support for our IFAM/Nature iraq NGO project: Embroidered Wedding Blankets from the Garden of Eden. Nature Iraq’s larger work and the Eden in Iraq Project were broadcast far and wide, in newspapers and magazines and interviews. We showed videos ,had books out, and a wonderful banner of the portraits of the 5 women who participated. We are giving these women faces, names, and income.
In fact, there are only a handful of older women who are keeping the tradition vibrant. The girls are earning slowly but they have never seen the historic rugs that we were able to buy from rug dealer Khalid Al Taey. Khalid knows all of the symbols and meanings of the earlier rugs. He will be a great resource to teach younger women.
We(Jassim, Zahra Southail, Edmond Wong, my assistant Drew Lenihan, and myself) had a profound experience working at IFAM, meeting all of the other artists, supporters, volunteers and staff, as well as visitors. We felt we were at the centre of the WORLD along with everyone in it. IFAM(The International Folk Art Market) is a wonderful and necessary celebration of world culture, art, and peace.
I am contemplating a fundraiser for Eden in Iraq operating expenses for mid winter if I can get the energy. I would highlight or auction the historic rugs. We’ve been offered a big hotel and Rahim Al Haj, renown oud player, could perform. Here, he met Jassim in Santa Fe!