Syrian War through the eyes of a child in local art exhibit

Mar 30, 2016 5:24 PM by News Staff

An art teacher from Syria, now living in the north state, is sharing some images of war from her country, as seen through the eyes of children.

Four long years of war has reduced much of Syria to rubble. Millions of Syrians have been displaced, both outside the country as well as within. In 2012, Safa Faki, a young art teacher from Syria’s largest city Aleppo at the time, found herself in a unique position to help some of those most affected, the children.

“In 2012 the war became very bad in my country,” she said. “I visited this camp and I saw the kids, they have nothing to do, they were just playing in the mud and rocks underneath olive trees. As I am an art teacher, I wanted to give them an outlet to share their trauma from the war.

Faki conducted dozens of drawing sessions in 2012 and 2013. Some of the drawings she collected are now on display at the gallery at Butte College in Oroville. The images are striking, stick figured children playing while helicopters drop bombs from above.

Gary and Cindy Watts, attendees of the art show, said they were blown away by the images and experiences of these children.

“It's profound,” Gary Watts said. “I can't believe these kids the age of our grandkids have experienced all this.”

“The scenes are put together of their idyllic lives in the countryside,” Cindy Watts said, “and then the horror that they've experienced.”

Faki used her background as an art teacher to try to relieve some of the stress and trauma the children in the camp were experiencing.

“I felt these kids need help,” she said. “They were very much traumatized from the war and they witnessed lots of scenes no child should have to witness at their age, like for example Fatima is her name, she is 11 years old and she drew houses getting bombed, tanks and a plane dropping bombs on regular ordinary people.”

The kids used the art as a language to express what they went through. And even for a child it's obvious the drawings depict images no child should ever have to experience.

Amaya Grothe saw what children her own age experienced and said she would like to help.

“It's really bad,” she said. “People getting shot, it should not be happening, I want to stop it but I can’t.”

Faki is currently studying peace and global studies, and hopes to use her education to one day help rebuild her country.

The drawings will be on display in the arts building at Butte College until April 7.


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