IraqRefugeeSmall BusinessStorytelling

Desert to Oregon, a Paintbrush in Hand

Hussein Al-Baiaty was born in Iraq during the first Gulf War. To escape the dangerous living conditions, he and his family fled to a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia.While living there, Al-Baiaty’s father, an artist, attracted the attention of resettlement officials after using tents as canvases for his artwork. The family moved to Portland in 1994 when Al-Baiaty was just 8 years old. Artistic talent appeared to run in the family, and the young Al-Baiaty soon became well known in his classrooms for his artistic abilities. He created The Printory, a boutique screen-printing shop in Hillsboro, Oregon. Al-Baiaty often engages with his community by giving talks to local schools and community centers and shares his experiences.

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 In September 2019, The Immigrant Story launched its first live storytelling event with “The Immigrant Story Live” during Beaverton’s Welcoming Week. They were coached by the Japanese-Korean storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung and assisted by Janet Liu.

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