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FOR SYRIA

FOR SYRIA: Art Sales Benefit Syrian Refugee Relief


50% of sales of artwork featured in the gallery below is donated to the International Rescue Committee <rescue.org> specifically earmarked for their work with Syrian refugees. | For more information click the ABOUT tab below.

'ESHQ (love), Arabic, $7.00

The war in Syria shows no signs of abatement. The situation of refugees in camps in Syria is dire. Refugees in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are also in great need.

In creating this body of work I have sought to represent something of the many communities that have lived together in Syria for over 1000 years. For more about this project, click the ABOUT tab below.

To learn more about each piece of art and to make purchases, click on the thumbnail images below.
Thank you for your support.

Safin Hamed, Getty Images

Safin Hamed, Getty Images

50% of sales, exclusive of cost of shipping the work to you, is sent to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) specially earmarked for their work with Syrian refugees.

I selected the IRC because of their 95% ranking with Charity Navigator, percent of funds that are spent on programs (92.5%), and their ability to work directly with people in the countries with the largest number of Syrian refugees.

I remember refugees sleeping in people’s homes and schools when I was a child. I grew up in Iran, and while Iran itself was a peaceful place, people fled from conflicts in Iraq, Oman, Syria and Lebanon. Later there would be millions of people fleeing into Iran from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the wars that followed.

Like Syria, the neighborhood of my childhood was a diverse place. Within a few blocks were an Armenian church, Zoroastrian temple and Persian-speaking Protestant church, all with their associated schools; a synagogue, several mosques, and at the north end of the street the massive embassy of the Soviet Union, the red flag waving against the backdrop of Tehran’s snow-capped mountains. The embassy is now that of Russia, but the remaining institutions carry on.

Syrian refugees wait on the Syrian side of the border near Sanliurfa, Turkey, June 10. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, says the United States should welcome Syrian refugees and work for peace. (CNS photo/Sedat/Suna, EPA) See ELIZONDO-REFUGEES Nov. 17, 2015.

Syrian refugees wait on the Syrian side of the border near Sanliurfa, Turkey, June 10. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, says the United States should welcome Syrian refugees and work for peace. (CNS photo/Sedat/Suna, EPA) See ELIZONDO-REFUGEES Nov. 17, 2015.

The refugees fleeing Syria today are university students, young parents, teachers, engineers, farmers, shop keepers, film makers, pregnant women and children. They are fleeing violence that is tearing apart a society that for over one thousand years has included an astounding diversity of peoples intermingled into a multi-religious, multilingual society.

While it is my hope that Syria can come together again in the future, for now it is the reality that ordinary people—no different from you and your neighbors—are fleeing a proxy war in which nations spread across the world are vying with one another in the villages and urban streets of Syria.

For a sampling of the diversity of Syria:
Languages: Arabic, Syriac, Kurdish, Armenian, Turkish, Azari (Turkoman), Circassian and Aramaean.
Religions: Suni, Shi’ite, Ismaili, and Alawite Muslims;
Syrian Orthodox, Maronite, Chaldean, Levantine and Protestant Christians; Yazidis; Druze; Jews; and Nusairis.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that:
• Nearly 12% of the population of Syria has been killed in the last five years;
• Over half of the population of 22 million is in urgent need of humanitarian aid;
• 6.5 million people are living in refugee camps or otherwise displaced within Syria;
• 4.8 million Syrians are refugees outside of Syria, primarily in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, with 1 million having fled to the European Union in 2015.

Resources:
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
IRC in Miami, Florida
United Nations High Commission for Refugees
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
International Committee of the Red Cross
Oxfam International

UN Refugee Camp, Lebanon; Bulent Kilic, Getty Images

UN Refugee Camp, Lebanon; Bulent Kilic, Getty Images