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Shakifa Halal was a Syrian immigrant on a New York-bound ship, her dreams rolled up in a piece of embroidery made from silkworms she grew, fabric she wove and cloth dyed with flowers picked in her homeland.It documents the vanished neighborhood of Little Syria in ways that still resonate, at a time when Syrian refugees and immigrant rights are making headlines.From the 1880s to the '40s, Little Syria sprawled from the New York waterfront, where Ellis Island ferries dock today, up to the site where the twin towers were later built. The museum created the Little Syria exhibition, which debuted at its facility in 2012 .Todd Fine, president of the Washington Street Historical Society, leads tours of the strip where the three structures from Little Syria survive: a tenement building, vacant community house and former Syrian Catholic church that now houses two restaurants.Little Syria's writers included famed poet-philosopher Khalil Gibran.Vicki Tamoush is grateful her grandmother's embroidery hangs where so many immigrants first entered America. Yet she's pained by the reality facing so many fleeing Syria now.
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