BOSTON, February 8, 2013 – The American Islamic Congress is pleased to announce the opening reception for the Muslim Women in the Arts series, “Home & Away: Shared Narratives of Gendered Identity.” This unique arts and culture series will spotlight the work of four Boston-based female artists from Iran, Pakistan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. In addition to a series of cultural events to complement the series, each artists will have an exhibition debut at AIC’s Boston center. The first exhibition debut will feature Iranian artist Niloofar Ziae known for her landscape and architectural compositions.

The series aims in part to address a lack of exhibits by contemporary Muslim artists in Boston’s galleries and museums, a void that reinforces the perception that Muslim art is limited to calligraphy and rugs. In fact, Boston is home to a vibrant scene of stereotype-shattering artistic innovators from across the Muslim world.

“Home and Away” showcases four diverse examples of this new paradigm of artist: female, of Muslim heritage, and shaped by complex hybrid identities – some with a hidden heritage, others with seemingly contradictory roots. The shapes, colors, textures, and subject matter provides insight beyond words, offering a window into the past, and a microcosmic view of the issues and experiences that shape so many women today.

What: Muslim Women in the Arts Opening Reception

When: Friday, February 15, 2013 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Where: AIC Center, 38 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Featured Artist: Niloofar Ziae

Niloo has long been an advocate for free expression in her native Tehran. As a young artist in 1980s post-revolutionary Iran, her home was as an underground sanctuary for musicians, poets, playwrights, and artists with no other space to create openly. As an artist, her paintings strive to document the architectural and environmental changes cities undergo and to communicate the sense of loss, as well as the excitement and possibilities, that accompany these changes. Niloo’s latest work connects the architecture of her home country to the American cities where she has lived, from Utah to Massachusetts.

The American Islamic Congress is a civil-rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas among Muslims and between other peoples. The 501(c)3 organization leads initiatives around the world and has offices in Washington, Boston, Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq. Visit for more additional information.