CAIR-MO hosts Creativity & Identity: An American-Muslim Exhibition, St. Louis’ first art exhibition made up entirely of works from local Muslim artists. Faizan Syed, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – Missouri (CAIR-MO), and CAIR Intern Yusra Ali explain how this groundbreaking exhibit came to be.
The show took place on the evening of April 7, 2017 at the 3rd Degree Glass Factory; marking the beginning of what will be an annual event here in St. Louis and may soon become a national campaign.
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yusra ali in search of blissYusra Ali decided to organize an art exhibition after making the rounds at local galleries. Her ceramics teacher at St. Louis Community College-Meramec required students to regularly attend other artists' exhibitions, which the aspiring art therapist found inspiring — in more ways than one.

The 22-year-old St. Louis native noticed the paucity of Muslim artists who were actively showing their work. It surprised her. It also got her thinking about the possibility of creating a group show to fill that gap. "I thought, other minorities have art shows, why don't we? We have our own ambitions, our own inspirations."

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They called the event "Make America Whole Again," and specifically invited Trump supporters and Republican voters. Visitors from many backgrounds and political leanings came to the Dar-Al-Jalal Islamic Center off Dunn Road in Hazelwood late Sunday afternoon.

“America has become very divisive over the last year,” said Faizan Syed, the Executive Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Missouri.

“We believe it’s time to make America whole again, and bring people of different backgrounds together so we can all live together as one group of people in one country.”

Dozens of people came to the open-house. CAIR-Missouri offered tours of the building, explanations about Muslim teachings, and a chance to meet several members of the Islamic faith. Visitors learned how to wrap a scarf in a hijab, some got a henna tattoo, and others sampled international food.

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