Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here!

March - May 2019| Portland, Oregon

The exhibits will be on display at four different locations. The primary exhibit is on display at the Collins Gallery at Multnomah County Central Library with auxiliary exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Art Building Gallery on the campus of Portland State University, and on the main floor of the library at Portland Community College - Sylvania Campus.

Scroll Down to see the exhibits and go to the events page for all programing 

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This exhibition is partially funded by a grant from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and the Oregon Cultural Trust in partnership with Multnomah County Library, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, Littman and White Galleries of Portland State University (PSU), Middle East Studies Center of PSU, Iraqi Student Club of PSU, Iraqi Society of Oregon, Portland City Council Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Milwaukie Poetry Series, Ledding Library, and the the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here! Coalition.


an amazing Evening of Food, Fun and Entertainment

On Saturday, March 5th, 2016 over 200 people gathered at Hoffman Hall on PSU campus from 6pm - 10pm  for an evening of  wonderful Iraqi food and desserts and the music of Ronny Hermiz.  They heard poetry spoken by Suhair Al A'srji and an Iraqi traditional song, sung by Massarra Eiwaz. They heard the poetry Omar Al Ghabib and of Suhaib. Mid-way through the evening, Wim Wiewel, the President of Portland State University, stopped by and spoke words of appreciation and encouragement to the students, the immigrants and refugees in the crowd, acknowledging that he, too, was one of them. And they danced! They danced an Iraqi dabke dance, old and young alike, including several dozen young Iraqi children, and all were entertained by Violetta, a consummate belly dancer. In addition there were a number of videos about the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here! coalition and about Iraq, including the rebuilt Al-Mutanabbi Street and the Abu Nuwas amusement park. Jim Lommasson presented his What We Carried photographs and Akram Sarraj exhibited a number of his paintings. All in all, it was an amazing evening!

 The location was secured with the help of the Iraqi Student's Club and the Middle East Studies Center of Portland State University. 

Multnomah Central Library

March 5 - May 15, 2016

Opening Reception on March 5th from 3 - 5pm

The program included opening remarks from Baher Butti, founder of Iraqi Society of Oregon; keynote presentation from Yasmeen Hanoosh, Ph.D Assistant Professor of Arabic from Portland State University (read her remarks at Schedule of Events and Exhibitions); artist’s perspective from Bettina Pauly, a San Francisco printer and book artist; and live entertainment from Ronny Hermiz.  Iraqi refreshments  were provided provided by the library.

The reception took place in the Collins Gallery located on the 3rd floor of the Central Library. 

Museum of Contemporary Crafts

Museum of Contemporary Crafts Community Showcase will display around 50 broadsides, prints and artists books chosen from the 0ver 220 that are in Portland for the exhibit this winter and spring.

February 25 to May 2, 2016

Opening Reception: 1st Thursday - 5:30 - 8pm March 3rd

with Anne-Marie Oliver and Barry Sanders,

The Oregon Institute for Creative Research/E4

The evening was slow at first, only a few people stopped by to explore the items on exhibit. But as time passed more and more people came and the room was full, allowing the staff to talk to people about the origin and meaning of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here! and hand out flyers about all the up coming events. At one point a group of young people were captivated by the video playing, looping on a monitor--I dare you by Stephanie Sauer--and they stood motionless and silent as she made and burned her book, all the while reciting, in chronological order from the earliest of times to the present day, the locations and date of book burnings and the destruction of the printed word. 

Portland State University /

Portland Community College

Art + Design AB Gallery, Portland State University will display 33 broadsides, prints and a single artists book chosen from the over 220 that are in Portland this winter and spring.

March 1st - March 24

The exhibit is now up and open for general public and student visitors. Visitors will be able to see13 letterpress printed broadsides, 20 original prints and one artist book. See the gallery below for a few samples. If you would like a copy of the artist's statements please email Bill Denham at

This exhibit space and the reception are provided through the efforts of the Iraqi Students Club of PSU.

The exhibit will move to:

The library at Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

March 28 - May 15

Opening Reception: March 30th -- 3:00PM to 4:00PM in the PAC lobby -- Performing Arts Lobby, adjacent to the library. The Internationalization Initiative of PCC Sylvania is hosting the reception. Aseel Dyck, an Iraqi born and raised, retired librarian who specialized in the Middle East, will be the guest speaker. Dr. Baher Butti, the founder of the Iraqi Society of Oregon, will welcome everyone.