The Salaam Cultural Museum is based in Seattle, Washington, USA. It’s activities include curating an exhibit artifacts from the MENA region, informing and engaging the public about the MENA region through lectures, public events, and activities in schools.
In addition to providing exhibits of artifacts from the Middle East and North Africa, SCM has sponsored books and brought authors and other experts before the public in readings, seminars and lectures. SCM has presented movies by filmmakers from the MENA region and has sponsored folklore evenings.
The work of the Salaam Cultural Museum is focused on the effort to create peace in the MENA region. Over the centuries, the Middle East and North Africa have seen war and conflict, yet historians tell us that the region is noteworthy for long periods of peace, commerce, and collaboration among a wide variety of ethnic and religions groups.
One example is the collaboration of the Copts and Arabs in building Egypt, as well as in their common desire to achieve independence in the twentieth century. Another example is the safe harbor that Arab lands gave to Jews who fled the European Inquisition during the Middle Ages. A third example is the refuge extended to Armenian Christians by Syrian Arabs when they were driven from Turkey as part of the Armenian Massacres in 1915.
Salaam aims to bring lessons of fruitful collaboration and dialogue forward to the present day. We are working to study the past, to understand it, and to apply its lessons to the effort to heal modern day conflict in the MENA region.
Current & Future Activities:
Permanent and visiting exhibits
Current & Forthcoming Projects:
Teacher Workshops: A workshop for teachers who are assisting recent Iraqi refugees. For more: www.workshopsteacher.org
Bridge Between the Cultures (BBTC): A program of cultural exchange that provides speakers, in particular authors with books on the Middle East & North Africa, for media interviews, public events, and activities in schools. (See Women Writers of the Arab World, below.)
Women Writers of the Arab World: In May 2005 SCM brought Arab women writers to Seattle to participate in various events including the Seattle Arts & Lecture Series and the Hedgebrook Writers Program.
The Arab American Community Coalition: Following the 9-11 attacks, AACC conducted educational events for law enforcement and intervened to win freedom for Arabs detained by the INS under questionable circumstances. Currently it maintains a 24 hour hotline to offer assistance when individuals are detained under Homeland Security laws.
AACC Objectives: To spark a fair, free, reasoned, balanced, and compassionate national dialogue about US foreign policy, the Arab world, and Israel. Acquire a permanent physical location for our exhibits.
Salaam Cultural Museum is primarily funded by the tax-deductible donations of individuals interested in supporting the cultural diversity of the Puget Sound region and in contributing to projects that have national and international benefits.
All members of our team are volunteers. We periodically team with other organizations to maximize both groups’ strengths to achieve greater results than either one could on their own.
Past and present fundraising activities include dinner-lecture series, auctions, art exhibits, concerts, film festivals, slide shows and public lectures.
The Salaam Cultural Museum is assisted in many ways by Caravan-Serai Tours & Consulting, a firm that specializes in Middle East travel. For more: www.caravan-serai.com.
Current Board Members
Ms. Elizabeth Abu-Haydar
Dr. Jere Bacharach
Ms. Beryl Cheal
Ms. Huda Giddens
Dr. Fawzi Khouri
Ms. Rita Zawaideh (President)
Ms. Laila Qudsi
The Salaam Cultural Museum wishes to honor the late Dr. Wadad Saba, a Founding Board Member who energized and inspired our early work.