Blankets provide a warm welcome to new Afghan arrivals

Flusche said the decision was made to bring the project back this year when “we realized that a large number of Afghan refugees were on their way to the United States. We wanted to help welcome them and give artisans the opportunity to participate in it. effort.”

The museum defines design broadly, according to Flusche, and “we believe that it is one of the most powerful tools we have to create change in the world, and that we can all help design the world we want to inhabit.”

Tiffany Ricks, left, community engagement coordinator, and Miranda Hazelwood, head of visitor experience at the Museum of Design Atlanta, organize the rugs that have been donated.  The rugs will be on display to the public.  Miguel Martinez / for The AJC
Caption

Tiffany Ricks, left, community engagement coordinator, and Miranda Hazelwood, head of visitor experience at the Museum of Design Atlanta, organize the rugs that have been donated. The rugs will be on display to the public. Miguel Martinez / for The AJC

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Growing up, Caren Sacks heard her grandparents’ stories of fleeing anti-Semitism in Russia and Poland. It was through these stories that she learned about the heartache and the hardships of starting a new life. She hopes her quilt will provide some comfort for newly arrived families as they begin their journey in the United States

“I really hope that the Afghan immigrants who receive these welcome blankets feel the care, comfort and warmth that they are created with. Knowing that they are welcomed here by most Americans,” said Sacks, who lives in Mamaroneck, New York, by email.

Jayna Zweiman, the founder of Welcome Blanket, created the project in response to the Trump administration’s proposed border wall.

The intention was to recast the wall’s distance of 2,000 miles to 2,000 miles of handmade rugs, which would be given to newly arrived refugees, along with a welcome message from the rug maker.

“The idea of ​​the rug is really to give someone a hug,” Zweiman said, adding that rug makers have included refugees, immigrants and people displaced by natural disasters, such as wildfires. “It’s really overwhelming in many ways that we all have these narratives of repression and really create that connection.”

Atlanta Design Museum CEO Laura Flusche shows off one of the rugs donated to the Warm Blanket Project on November 10, 2021. The museum plans to collect hundreds of rugs through the Welcome Blanket Project to deliver to Afghan refugees who will soon arrive in Georgia.  Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Caption

Atlanta Design Museum CEO Laura Flusche shows off one of the rugs donated to the Warm Blanket Project on November 10, 2021. The museum plans to collect hundreds of rugs through the Welcome Blanket Project to deliver to Afghan refugees who will soon arrive in Georgia. Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Miguel Martinez for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When it’s time to hand out the rugs, Flusche said the museum plans to work with local resettlement agencies to get the rugs for newly arrived immigrants. And one of these rugs is of particular importance to Flusche because it was made by her late grandmother Rose, who lived to be 101.

Flusche believes her grandmother “would have loved,” her blanket, which is made of fabric samples, to go to a newly arrived family.

“We are a country based on immigration,” she said. “Almost all of our ancestors were new to this country and receiving a welcome … I think is a wonderful thing.”

Paradise Afshar is a Report for America Corps member covering the metro Atlanta immigrant community.


General donations

Carpets can be dropped off or sent to the museum at: 1315 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 until January 15th. For more information, visit the Welcome Blanket website.

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