Tuesday, March 22, 2011

peace quilt completed

For several weeks my friend Shirley and I met with a group of immigrant women to create a quilt.  The theme is 'what does peace mean to you?'     Some of the women have sought refuge in Canada fleeing war torn countries.  The lucky ones came here with their children but others had to leave family members behind.    Some had lost family in wars.   Many carry the scars of war and oppression. They miss their native countries, friends and family.  But they came here so that they may live in peace, freedom and equality.  This quilt stands as a symbol of their dreams.   Finally last month the quilt was finished and we got together with the staff and clients of Immigrant Women's Services to unveil our peace quilt and celebrate our accomplishment.   Immigrant women from several countries including Afganistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Korea - took part in this project.   One woman told us that it re-awakened her creativity, another was happy to be among other women and not be so isolated - and spoke of the sense of community.   Staff spoke of how this process helps the women in their healing.  They said they will bring this quilt into the community to let the community know about the importance of funding organizations like this one and programs like this.   Hopefully this project was just the beginning of a program to bring women together to create and heal.     For myself and Shirley, this was a wonderful opportunity to connect to a group of  bright, strong, creative women  from many different cultural backgrounds - and to celebrate our commonalities and differences.   I would like to show you photos of all the women who took part but I need to respect their privacy.   So here is a photo of their quilt with Shirley and I holding it up.  (please note the interesting embroidered piece on the wall in the background entitled 'my wife does not work'.  Lots of irony in this intricate piece)  Hope you enjoy the quilt.


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