Artifacts as Memories of Home

We recently received a very interesting collection from a donor in Houston, Texas. The collection consists of three large photographs from Syria and Palestine, brought to the U.S. by a family that immigrated in the 1960s. Two of the photographs are simple portraits of family members, while the third depicts a funeral scene. The donor tells us that when the family first moved to the United States, the photographs hung in their living room as reminders of their family and their homeland.

Although our museum focuses on the Arab American experience rather than on the Arab World, many items in our collection originate in the Arab World as people brought them with them when moving to the United States. These items help people remember where they came from, and allow them to showcase their culture to new friends. Last year, we received a traditional Palestinian dress from a woman who told us she purchased the dress just before moving from Ramallah to the United States for the specific purpose of showing Americans some of her culture. Watch a video where she talks about the dress below:

If you’ve ever moved to a new home, do you have items that remind you of your old home? Or if you were going to move away, what would you bring to show people where you came from?

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