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Sughra goes to MICA!

$9,490 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 1 month
Created April 14, 2018
Amazing Sughra!
I first met my now dear friend Sughra Hussainy, at her Turquoise Mountain exhibit  in the Smithsonian's Freer Sackler Gallery of Art. When she visited the United States a second time to do demos at the art exhibit, she realized it was not safe to return home to Afghanistan. She had received death threats from the Taliban, and she was threatened with kidnapping. They disapprove of her being a working woman and coming to the US, her photos splashed all over the internet with “the enemy” Laura Bush, and the fact that she and her brother belong to an ethnic and religious minority and are artists who want their art to bring change.

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Photo, above: Sughra and the Studio Pause community who collaborated on Thou Art: The Beauty of Identity, a community poetry book. The art show, reading, and bookmaking was held at UUCA, 2017.

A Baltimore-based organization Asylee Women Enterprises  is helping her with her asylum application. HIAS , a prominent resettlement firm in Silver Spring is helping her with legal services.

Asylee? Refugee?
People have asked me often about the difference between asylum seekers and refugees. Here's what I have learned—Asylum seekers (asylees) are different from refugees—they apply for asylum in the country they have fled to to save their lives. The moment their application is received by the government they are permitted to remain legally while their application is processed. Applying for asylum is a human right. If it isn't approved they could be sent back. Until then they are allowed to live and work and pay taxes in the US. Refugees are different—countries pick whom they will welcome as refugees, based in part on a background check, and work on resettling them there.

Community!
Sughra lives in Maryland now and my family is her family. The Studio Pause community is her community here in Arlington. My 16 year-old designed her website ( www.SughraHussainy.com) and a Studio member, Yuri Long, shot the beautiful photos of her at the exhibit.

If you are a friend of Studio Pause you have seen, made, or bought the community poetry book Sughra and I collaborated on last year, Thou Art: The Beauty of Identity. Sughra's art was on view at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington last year and it travelled to the Virginia Foundation for Humanities  in Charlottesville. She has taught workshops for Loyola College students, DC Public School students , families in Arlington , and for the Smithsonian Associates . She has gained many fans! 

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Now for the BIG news!

Sughra was accepted into the Community Arts MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)! Her amazing work has won her a half tuition fellowship and another scholarship. The wonderful office of admissions is working hard to make this happen but as she has no parents to support her (her father was caught in crossfire and died when she was 9 and her mother died 5 years later), she relies on what she earns from working in a restaurant, teaching art, and selling her paintings. But that can hardly raise money for grad school. The photo above if of her attending an event for admitted students, April 2018.

So here we are! Please support her in any way possible by donating to this page. My mix media artworks in our Studio member show at UUCA this year, Baked Clay/Endless Sky: Celebrating 5 Years of Pause  are for sale with all proceeds going to the fund. Sughra's artworks are for sale too and I'll post photos soon. If you are around please JOIN US for the show reception on Sun, Apr 15, 4-6 pm at UUCA. Details here .

Thank you for being part of the community that helps send her on to getting her Masters in Community Art!
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Oh my goodness--we have crossed the half-way mark!

I'd love to take this moment to THANK ALL THOSE who have been part of this journey, offering their help in so many ways.

The stranger who told her about an organization that can help. The friend who referred her to the lawyers. The big-hearted people who offered her a place to live and the wonderful people who became family here. The writer who helped her write her story that would become her college application, and the professor who explained to her how school here works. The teachers and classmates who cheered on her language learning and the warm-hearted people who drove her to buy frames on cold days. Those who loved her art and introduced her to other lovers and teachers of art and those who introduced her to MICA. Those sending us links to scholarships and the educator who gave her a laptop.

Of course, I have missed listing many wonderful people but I am so excited to send thank you notes to people donating from around the world! Thank you SO much!
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I have to say, I am amazed at the response to this campaign! First of all, I created it at 4 am Friday morning after having gone to bed wondering how we would manage after a couple potential sponsors of Sughra said they couldn't help. So I decided to try something I hadn't tried before.
That day I fine-tuned the campaign while attending a conference, Building Solidarities: Feminist Forms of Resistance & Activism, organized by Center for the Study of Gender & Conflict at the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (S-CAR GMU). Yeah. Gaining courage as the day went on, and gathering support from the show curator and other Studio pause members I decided to test this out.
So I am thrilled to say that 2 of 4 artworks sold at the reception for Baked Clay/Endless Sky. Woohoo! Check out the other two at www.StudioPause.com/projects/baked-clay. And thanks so much for joining in and making this such a success! (yeah, its already a success for me :))
Below: Sughra's artwork that sold, titled What You Seek is Seeking You (Rumi)
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$9,490 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 1 month
Created April 14, 2018
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