Art of Resilience
I came to the United States in 1994 from a Refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, which is a real miracle. My parents, six siblings, and I left our home country of Iraq and Saddam's regime in 1991. We spent the next three and a half years enduring. My fathers, Art became my visual aid in the outside world.
My brothers and I outside of our Refugee tent
"Art saved my life when I was young. I honor and respect Art in every form and in ways I can't count" - Hussein Al-Baiaty.
My Father Kamel Al-Baiaty painting in our Refugee tent
This unforgettable experience became the fuel to my desire to take advantage of every positive opportunity I can. I attended Portland State University, I studied Architecture, Graphic Design, and business and started taking chances.
Refugee State of Mind
Since I started my journey as a young refugee and made it to college in the US, I've been building layers of resilience through out my life. Refining and utilizing these crucial elements was the only way forward.
Experimenting with how I can use my business, design, and production skills for the greater good. I had some great successes and some significant failures. I traveled to India to help build a school and was reminded of the refugee camps and the poverty I was once in. This experience helped me move forward with a very positive and thankful attitude towards the world.
Amazing kids in Ladakh, India love posing for pictures
After college in 2010, I decided to create my own path around a purpose by attempting a small T-Shirt printing and design business for community projects. I was able to grow, but felt the urge to give back to the Refugee Community.
For a while, I was simply experimenting with T-Shirt graphics and figuring out a way to story tell and empower people through graphic tees. I wanted to give back. We started small by giving small boxes to the local community via IRCO and Catholic Charities. I hope to one day fulfill and send shipping containers to those in need worldwide. I decided to name the collection of these graphic T-Shirts, Refutees—the purpose woven with the name and brand to bring awareness positively.
We're all from somewhere
We tend to forget where we're from and lose connections with other heritage and humanity. We made our tagline a reminder to all that we are from Earth, and it's our responsibility to take care of it and help each other.
We're all from somewhere sticker and our Refutee-Mobile at the Market
We bought a VW Vanagon much like the ones used in Refugee Camps to help people in the early 90's. We began to sell our merchandise at events and shows all around the Northwest. The best part of all is we have been able to grow our community who are the backbone of our work. The Refutee community is full of friends and family who have been supporting us since we started our little shop years ago. To all of you, Thank you!
The Refugee crises is more than numbers and statistics. It's a powerful human story that needs to be expressed to bring awareness in a moving way to make a change. I love sharing my personal story as it shows that anyone can get through any struggle. Over time, it became my mission to give back. It shed a positive light on the stories of resilience and power within refugees. Speaking to schools, Educational platforms, and leadership events, we help build a bridge of unity.
Art of Resilience: The Refugee State of mind dives deep into my story, heritage, life, and Art. In this book, I hope to reveal my Refugee State of mind and help you cultivate your own state of mind. Through storytelling and weaving through adversities of life, we build layers of resilience for your journey.
The Podcast show
The Refugee state of Mind Podcast show is designed to amplify the wisdom and stories of resilience. We flipped our Refugee Mobile into a studio to record, amplify, and spread awareness to help refugees. - Partnering with Portland State University and launching in January 2021.