On October 23, 2014 a 1,760 foot art installation will open on the National Mall in Washington DC displaying paintings of over 1,000 Syrian refugee children. The artwork will serve as a reminder that despite the trauma caused by the ongoing Syrian conflict on the lives of Syria’s most vulnerable population, its children remain resilient.

“Peace & Hope” shares firsthand stories of Syrian children and youth impacted by over 3 years of conflict that has a country shaken, with millions of refugees displaced and in need of life saving aid.

The art installation, named “Peace & Hope,” was created in the Shakespeare Tent at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. The installation will be displayed from October 23-27th on the National Mall directly in front of the Smithsonian Museum.

The art is just part of an effort led by  Syrian actor, Nawar Bulbul, a war refugee who at one time flew to Midland, Texas to perform an Arabic-language play in President George W. Bush’s hometown as a diplomatic mission. Over the course of a few months, children and youth of all ages were invited to paint on the canvas. The drawings tell stories of hope, of despair, of innocence, of peace, of love, and of devastation.

Nawar Bulbal also works with the children teaching them theatre and art, providing a much-needed outlet for lives filled with trauma, poverty and boredom.   In the Shakespeare in Zaatari tent, Syrian actor Nawar Bulbul organizes workshops and initiatives around the life and work of English playwright William Shakespeare.

Children from the camp perform the plays together. “The show is to bring back laughter, joy and humanity,” Nawar Bulbul told The New York Times about the project.  “There are people who want to go home, and they are the victims while the great powers fight above them.”

shakespeare-tent
[Image Credit: Syria Untold]
  • Cuppycake

    This is just beautiful. The video is so adorable. It is fantastic to see that even after all they have been through, they still know how to be happy and to have fun.

  • Ratcraft

    I wonder if there is a banner in Syria painted by homeless children in America?

    • justphilip

      That is such a narrow view of an otherwise impressive initiative. America is well-equipped to take care of it’s homeless. What would we want to raise awareness for in Syria? Also, philanthropy is a one-way route. Which is to say that if the American homeless painted banners in Syria, it would be defeating the whole purpose of the gesture, don’t you think?

      • Ratcraft

        I take it you don’t know if homeless kids in America have a painted banner in Syria?

        • It’s an excellent idea, even though I’m fairly certain you’re trolling lol…

          However, those kids aren’t “in Syria” anymore, even if its their nationality. Many of them are in places like Lebanon, in refugee camps.

          In any event, I know some great orgs that work with Syria that are here in the states, and I think I’ll pass on the idea that the children here that are going through hardship may want to send their own messages of hope to Syrian refugees. It would be pretty cool. When I was a kid, we exchange artwork & letters with Kuwaitis

  • SelenaJ25

    This video is amazing. It’s remarkable to think how people can go through so much and still have such high spirits in their everyday life. I feel that more people should become involved in the arts as a way to express their feelings.

    • freakycatlady

      If there were more into the arts it would be better than what some of the kids around the world are doing or are involved in (intentionally or not). I see art as a great way to just zone into the good and stop being cluttered by the bad of the world.