The Master Gallery

August 8, 2015 – January 31, 2016

Artists in Exile

Paintings by Iraqi artists displaced after the U.S. invasion, Curated by Mel Lehman, Director of Common Humanity

Mel Lehman

Mel Lehman grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  He received a BA from Eastern Mennonite University, an MA in theology from Union Theological Seminary and an MA in literature from Columbia University.  He worked for 20 years at the National Council of Churches as an editor in international humanitarian issues and during that time he made several visits to the Middle East.  He increasingly came to realize that the ordinary people he met there were very unlike the images of Middle Easterners he was seeing in the U.S. media.  In 2009 he founded an organization called Common Humanity to build better understanding about the people of the Middle East.

Mel Lehman is working on a book about his experiences.  In his free time he enjoys travel and during the past two decades he has visited Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Jordan and Syria.  He enjoys listening to and occasionally performing music, reading, visiting museums, and he still doggedly continues to try to learn Arabic but so far has had only very limited success.

Common Humanity

Common Humanity is a New York-based tax-exempt non-profit which seeks to build understanding, respect, and friendship with the Arab and Muslim world.  Common Humanity believes that the road to peace in these dangerous times lies not in sending more guns to the Middle East but engaging in a learning process and discussion with people in all parts of that region.  Common Humanity believes that art is a good way to establish connections between people in different parts of the world and so far has organized some 15 exhibits of paintings by Iraqi artists who were displaced from their homeland after the U.S. invasion.

More information at HYPERLINK “”

Common Humanity is directed by Mel Lehman.

He can be contacted at HYPERLINK “”

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