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Tag: levantine

Episode 135 [in English]: Mint + Laurel

We talked to Kinda Hibrawi, one of the founders of Mint + Laurel, a lifestyle brand focused on products from or inspired by the Middle East.  Kinda, who is Syrian-American and from Aleppo, started Mint + Laurel along with Mai Barazi and Rama Chakaki.  Mint + Laurel focuses on transparency and sustainability, collaborating with independent artisans, small artisan groups, non-profits and local social enterprises internationally.  We talked to Kinda about the story behind Mint + Laurel, the social impact this new organization has already had, the meaning behind the products, and more.
To see the amazing textiles, soaps, and more, visit

Follow mintandlaurel on Instagram!

Check out the Amereeka collection: 

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Episode 57 in English: Pillagers and Preservation, a Convo with Leila Khoury

We talked to Leila Khoury, a Syrian-American graduate student who is currently working toward a Master of Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  This was such an incredible conversation about a topic that does not get nearly enough attention: the theft and cultural appropriation of cultural and historic objects from so much of the world by, namely, Europeans and Americans.  Leila has a powerful piece called Near East, which critiques the forced migration of Levantine artifacts into European collections.  For example, at the Louvre, Leila noticed some of these artifacts that were not only completely out of their element, but also not given the care and respect that should be there.  This was such an important reminder of how desensitized our education system, and our society in general (in our case, society in the U.S.), has conditioned us to become about this rampant history of theft and disrespect of artifacts.

Check out Leila’s website to learn more:

Also, as mentioned in the episode, here are some links about some projects and artists brought up:

Lee Bey,, book: Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side

South Side Home Movie Project,

Mona Gazala,

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