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Dec. 3, 2022

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Vancouver library displays art from those who fled home, resettled in U.S.

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Paintings and photographs by four refugees who fled violence and upheaval overseas and built better lives in the United States are on display at the Vancouver Community Library.

The exhibition, “Uprooted: An Art Collection Inspired by Refugee Identity and Resilience,” can be viewed through the end of June at 901 C St.

Presenting the exhibition is Lutheran Community Services Northwest, a nonprofit agency that works with the U.S. government to resettle refugees in this region.

Lutheran Community Services encourages people to view the artworks on Monday, which is World Refugee Day, said spokesman Matt Misterek.

Artworks showing in this exhibition include photographs by Maryam Azizpour of Hazel Dell, who was profiled in The Columbian earlier this year. Azizpour’s photographs document her family’s peaceful, vibrant life in Kabul, Afghanistan, before the return of the Taliban regime last year; the family’s harrowing escape from Afghanistan; and their new life in Southwest Washington after being resettled here by Lutheran Community Services.

Also showing are: Akram Sarraj of Beaverton, Ore., a professional artist who came to the U.S. in 2013 after fleeing terrorism in his home of Mosul, Iraq; Mahshid Erfanfard of Portland, who fled Iran, spent five years in a Pacific island camp for asylum-seekers and finally came to the U.S., where she works as a case manager for Lutheran Community Services; and Luba Gonina of Lake Oswego, Ore., who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Ukraine in 1990, when it was part of the Soviet Union, and now works with Lutheran Community Services as an art therapist.

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