by adam rasmi in


An illustration by Suha Wanous. (Courtesy Najda Now)

An illustration by Suha Wanous. (Courtesy Najda Now)

In an upscale district of Downtown Beirut, two pre-teen boys rapped in Arabic during an exhibit showcasing the artwork of Syrian refugee children. Ramzi, a 12-year-old originally from Daraa, Syria, beatboxed as his friend Ayham, also from Daraa, spit rhymes. Guests watched quietly, impressed, as the two boys recalled life before the uprising turned civil war wreaked havoc on their country.

This was part of an exhibit called “Light Against Darkness,” the result of a three-month art workshop that focused on helping children overcome the trauma of war through creative expression. Forty-three children produced about 166 works of drawings and clay sculptures, many of which depicted colorful renditions of schools, kids playing together, and families bonding.

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