“Away from Home Again” is a learning & creative expression odyssey by displaced young Palestinian refugees from Nahr El-Bared camp, Lebanon.
A photo-voice chronicle of the trials & tribulations of refugee children at a time of war & displacement; their efforts to express & transform their precarious lives, & their participation in their community’s efforts to rebuild their lives & their camp.
Over the span of three years (2007-2009), the children in this journey worked with specialists to become photo-journalists, filmmakers, creative writers & artists.
Their productions are a testament to the transformative power of art and the creative energies of young people at times of crisis.
Ya darna yamm al-shadjar lkhzar
Palestinian folktales & songs remembered & compiled after half a century of living in exile.
Proceeds will support the work of an NGO working with Palestinian children in Gaza Strip.
“I wish I were a bird” : young photo-voices from the camp is another production put together by the “young photo-journalist” team.
This is a bi-lingual 150 pages book of photos, artwork and testimonies by Palestinian refugee children, in color and hardcover. 30 children worked for more than a year to finish this work that was printed March 2001. The topics that the children decided to show in this book include: – Children’s lives in refugee camps in Lebanon characterized by insufficient health care, poor sanitation, inappropriate education, school drop-out, child labor, lack of job, opportunities and emigration. – Children’s hopes, what make them happy: “picnics, good food, fitness, education, friendship, and love”, & what makes them sad: “air-raids, fear, and worry”. – The memories of elder people about their live in Palestine, and of their uprooting, children are connected to their past and the history of their people: “life had to go on far the sake of Palestine”: “I wish I were a bird to fly to my country”. – Children’s views of their rights: “my right to have rights and to defend them”; “my right to study and not to work”; “the right to have good food and shelters”; “poor children have the right to play and to have safe play-grounds”; “the right to medical treatment”; “the right to free expression”; “the right to have a homeland”; and “the right to liberate my country and return home”. – Moments of hope reflected in stories of the time when children saw the land of Palestine after the liberation of South Lebanon in May 2000, and meeting children from Palestine at the border. These children prove that the fourth generation of Palestinian children in exile are connected to their past, and concerned about their present and future. It is to note that the possibility of translating the work to Spanish, Dutch, French, Japanese and Finnish is being considered. This is a product of the project: Palestinian Refugee children in Lebanon record their lives & express their hopes.
For the last five years children and youth have been meeting on Friday mornings at Al Jana to investigate art processes, draw from the figure, the man-made and natural world and experiment with different two and three dimensional design concepts.
Using the skills they have learned together with their imagination they have then gone on to create stories, images, puppet shows and three dimensional forms in response to their lives, communities and regional history. The body of work that they have created has been collected together into a book that explains drawing and design concepts in a simple way using their art work as examples. The book is in English and Arabic and includes technical footnotes to explain processes.