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Leila Kubba, Painting the Blur of Two Cultures

Iraqi-American artist Leila Kubba returned to Iraq last year for the first time in 25 years. Her deep impressions from that trip are now recorded in her latest exhibit of paintings. "New Beginnings" is on display at a small gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kubba, born in Iraq to an American mother and Iraqi father, says she grew up seeing each culture through the eyes of the other. As a child in Iraq, Kubba says she was influenced by the colorful and ornate geometric art and architecture around her. She later studied art in England and then the United States.

Her works contrast scenes of Iraqi daily life in bold colors, with deep purples and grays that suggest American soldiers alert in the background.

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Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.