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.

“She rolled that up and brought it because she said she wanted to be able to prove that she had skills … This to her was like showing a diploma,” said Halal’s granddaughter, Vicki Tamoush, her voice catching and tears streaming.