Monday 8 August 2016

Comics and drawing exhibition in Beirut

In connection with the conference “Being Palestinian: Human rights, identity and mental health”, in Beirut May 15 -16, there was an exhibition on comics and drawings by Palestinian young refugees in the UNESCO Palace. The exhibition was prepared by Ms. Jamal Abou Saleh of Beit Atfal Assumoud (Finnish Psychologists' cooperation partner in Lebanon).

A group of youths at Mar Elias Camp working
with drawings for the exhibition.

The exhibition showed artworks by youths from all Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Jamal coordinated the preparations of the artwork within the BAS network during two months in the spring. All the centers made drawings, comics and presentations to be exhibited and to highlight children’s thoughts about human rights and identity.

Jamal says: “Children have inside them their sense of identity and human rights. They need help to get this expressed to the world.”

World Comics Finland and the Finnish Psychologists for Social Responsibility ran a comics training workshop jointly in Lebanon in 2005, and this exhibition shows that these skills are still at good use in BAS.

Even after the bombardment of homes, schools, hospitals, the children want to study, although they have only tents. By Youssuf Ahmed Al Hameed, who comments on the situation of Palestinian children in Gaza.

A detail from the exhibition.

This comic, ”I have a right to education”, by Abeer Ayda from Mar Elias Camp, tells the story of a girl in a wheelchair who gets an education with the help of Beit Afal Assumoud. After her studies she gets a job and leads a happy life.

Ms. Jamal Abou Saleh, Culture Coordinator in Beit Atfal Assumoud, who was in charge of creating the exhibition.

Some refugees' perilous sea journey ends in a dramatic air rescue in
this comic by Samer Ahmed Azzam, 13, from Rashidieh Camp.

The lure of the people smugglers.

(NB: Read speech balloons from right to left)

Father, I don’t want to go, please…
My son, our life will be better and happier.
Mother, I am afraid of the sea journey.
My daughter, don’t be afraid, I am with you and God will protect us.


By Darin Abed Elaa’l, BAS, Nahr el Bared

Posted by Leif Packalen, based on material provided by Sirkku Kivistö.