AS thousands of Syrians continue to seek refuge from the bombing and destruction of their country, Fife Migrants Forum is bringing the pain and hopes of Syrian refugee children to Lochgelly Centre through an exhibition entitled ‘From Syria with Love’.
The fifteen drawings, all done by children aged between 6 and 16, have already been seen in Dunfermline and Glenrothes as well as elsewhere in the UK, but now it is the turn of people in Lochgelly to see them.
The two people behind the exhibition are a 28-year old Syrian student living in the UK, Baraa Ehssan Kouja, and Rawda Abdel Kafi Mazloum, a mother of four from the Syrian city of Homs, now living in a refugee camp in Eastern Lebanon.
“This is an opportunity for ordinary Syrians to tell their stories through art, and for ordinary Fifers to develop a fuller understanding of what Syrian refugees are facing” said Baraa.
“There is a lost generation of Syrian children growing up in refugee camps in the Middle East and in Syria itself, children losing out on education, on their roots, on the basic human right to grow up in peace and safety. Syrian kids, like kids in Lochgelly need to laugh, to draw, to play, to learn.”
The children who have created the drawings are all living in four small refugee camps near the Lebanese town of Chtaura in the Bekaa valley. Lebanon, a country seven times the size of Fife, has accepted over 1.8 million refugees from Syria, more than any other country in the world.
In the four camps where Rawda works, around 1100 people live in 149 tents, among them 270 children.
Some of the works reflect the trauma that the young people have experienced, while others are more hopeful and optimistic. Alongside each picture, as well as the title and the name of the artist, is a brief statement of that child’s dream.
Here's a drawing by 16 year old Kawthar Khalil who has been in Abrar camp for 3 years.
Her dream is to go back to Homs in Syria but she produced a drawing with elements of she saw life.
The exhibition is on in the foyer of The Lochgelly Centre until the end of February.