Painting a Syrian Refugee Camp: the Za’atari Project

IMG_3552The Syrian Refugee Youth Arts Project in the giant Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan took place in June and July of this year. For this initiative I teamed up with international artists, Syrian refugees and child participants to explore important issues in the camp and the residents’ hopes and dreams for the future of their nation. We painted collaborative murals on tents, washrooms, a hospital and will soon be painting a school. We also created stencils, led art and educational workshops, and organized a day of  kite-making and decorating. The project is a collaboration with the global humanitarian agency ACTED and the arts organization APTArt and features a team that includes myself, Syrian artist Jumana Hokan, South African artist Luc van der Walt and US artist Samantha Robison in collaboration with a big group of Syrian refugees and dozens of children and teens. –Joel B