Thursday, April 30, 2009

Portland, April 29, 2009

We were at the First Unitarian Church of Portland, on 1011 SW 12th Avenue in downtown Portland. A lovely town....
Adele Kubein (her story is shared in the book) spoke about her daughter's service as an Oregon National Guardswoman.
Maxine Fookson, a pediatric nurse practitioner, spoke of her service with No More Victims and shared photos and story of Mustafa. Then 2 years old, he was critically wounded in the bombardment of Fallujah. He came to Portland for prosthetic leg, colostomy, and ended up losing a kidney too. He is back in his village now and his longterm prognosis is "unknown."
Dr. Omar Obeid spoke of the physical wounds he received with an assassination attempt that blew up his vehicle. His two daughters have also been killed and his third daughter is suffering from renal failure. For the time being, he is Portland and part of the Iraqi community there.
Dr. Baher Butti is a solid pillar of this community in Portland bringing vital psychological care to the community and working to bridge cultural misconceptions between diverse groups. He arrived in Portland from Iraq after death threats. His wife and daughter, Ula, joined him last month in Portland.
Thank you to Katie Heald of AFSC and Tess Beistel for their very hard work on this event. (Tess, by the way, was part of the Human Faces of War project that contacted me when I returned from Iraq. They subsequently showed variations of Anwar Jeward's story in art work. Thank you for that work, Tess.)
See pix from the event

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book Launch: San Francisco

April 27, 2009
The book, Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak about War and Terror is officially published as of today. The launch celebration, in Grace Cathedral's Gersham Hall, included Military Moms Rachel Avila and Mary Tillman and Afghan Americans Asma Eschen and Rahima Haya sharing their stories. Robert Abdul Hayy Darr brought Rumi's poetry and Jack Hirschman his poem, "Path." Rose Aguilar of KALW's Your Call radio and singer Kaylah Marin co-MC'd the event. Keep an ear out for Kaylah Marin - this young woman has a powerful and beautiful voice and you'll be hearing more from her in the future. She brought the audience together with Pete Seeger's 1960's anti-war song, "Where have all the Flowers Gone? Long Time Passing."

The event included Iraqi children's art, Liam Curry's "Soldier's Cross," Doug Minkler's posters, and Susan Galleymore's 3 sets of masks.
See the gallery for initial pix of the event - more to follow.

On to Portland where Maxine Fookson of No More Victims and Dr. Butti representing the Iraqi community of Portland will share their stories and Mona will share her music. Thanks to Tess Beistel for her hard work pulling this event together.