At Education Unbound, we see an urgent need to raise awareness and support in societies about the complexities of the migration process and the extreme difficulties migrants and refugees face. Refugees and displaced people – especially children – face seemingly unending hardships, including ongoing civil wars, catastrophic famine, and shockingly brutal exile.  Even as they seek safety in other countries, they often face discrimination, detention, and abuse. Some countries have enacted bans on refugees and others unintentionally cultivated a slave market, often forcing an unprotected and vulnerable child into exploitation from armed groups,  terrorism, or early marriage.

For many of us, these stories can seem both physically and theoretically distant from our own realm, but in our deeply interconnected world, we’re all responsible for what happens to the vulnerable – and we’ll all benefit from helping uplift them.

Our co-founder, Weeda Hamdan, recalls:

 “Having lived through multiple wars in Lebanon, my family and I have been displaced repeatedly. If it weren't for the warm and welcoming homes of distant strangers, my family’s fate would have been fraught with tragedy.  

It’s 1982, and I’m sitting upright, cross-legged, a sketch pad and pencil on my lap. Complete darkness around me; my family members propped against each other. Cold, concrete walls. The hopeful waiting has now turned into the heavy reality--we aren’t sleeping in our beds tonight.

Days and nights pass. Our underground bunker becomes our security as battles rage over our heads. On one of those many, nondescript nights of waiting, I sit up in the darkness and I begin sketching--blindly pressing pencil to paper. I visualize images and then I sketch them. Only when the light of day allows a glimpse, do I discover what I had created. These images, my morning discoveries, became a peaceful escape.

 As an artist, I feel compelled to raise awareness in free societies about the complexities of the migration process and the difficulties that refugees face. Embodying refugees’ traumatic stories through visual expression opens our eyes to prejudices and stereotypes, sparking empathy through reflection. Ultimately, this collection of art presents the inhuman plight of refugees while, as a curative medium, showcases the human narrative embodied within this dark landscape. May history not simply categorize refugees, but instead, tell the story of their resilience in the face of adversity. 

With this body of work, I intend to provoke empathy towards refugee children. It is my desire that those who are afforded better opportunities can reach out, and through donations in support of education, help to elevate a child out of the cycle of poverty and exploration.  

I have always dreamed of creating a more peaceful world in which we collaborate, empathize, and uplift. Just as the process of painting gave me an escape during my childhood, in 2016 I co-founded and donated my art to the non-profit Education Unbound, to help others escape. Let us all pay that feeling forward for underprivileged children so that they, too, can write their story, complete with joy and boundless opportunities.”

You can support this program today by visiting Global Giving and making a donation, or you can bring the exhibit to you to support awareness in your community.

Thoughts

Weeda sees an urgent need to raise awareness and support in societies about the complexities of the migration process and the extreme difficulties migrants and refugees face. Refugees and displaced people – especially children – face seemingly unending hardships, including ongoing civil wars, catastrophic famine, and shockingly brutal exile. 
The Cubist movement began around 1907. The Cubist style was developed by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso.

UpRooted: The Flight of Refugees 

At Education Unbound, we see an urgent need to raise awareness and support in societies about the complexities of the migration process and the extreme difficulties migrants and refugees face. Refugees and displaced people – especially children – face seemingly unending hardships, including ongoing civil wars, catastrophic famine, and shockingly brutal exile.  Even as they seek safety in other countries, they often face discrimination, detention, and abuse. Some countries have enacted bans on refugees and others unintentionally cultivated a slave market, often forcing an unprotected and vulnerable child into exploitation from armed groups,  terrorism, or early marriage.

For many of us, these stories can seem both physically and theoretically distant from our own realm, but in our deeply interconnected world, we’re all responsible for what happens to the vulnerable – and we’ll all benefit from helping uplift them.

Our co-founder, Weeda Hamdan, recalls:

 “Having lived through multiple wars in Lebanon, my family and I have been displaced repeatedly. If it weren't for the warm and welcoming homes of distant strangers, my family’s fate would have been fraught with tragedy.  

It’s 1982, and I’m sitting upright, cross-legged, a sketch pad and pencil on my lap. Complete darkness around me; my family members propped against each other. Cold, concrete walls. The hopeful waiting has now turned into the heavy reality--we aren’t sleeping in our beds tonight.

Days and nights pass. Our underground bunker becomes our security as battles rage over our heads. On one of those many, nondescript nights of waiting, I sit up in the darkness and I begin sketching--blindly pressing pencil to paper. I visualize images and then I sketch them. Only when the light of day allows a glimpse, do I discover what I had created. These images, my morning discoveries, became a peaceful escape.

 As an artist, I feel compelled to raise awareness in free societies about the complexities of the migration process and the difficulties that refugees face. Embodying refugees’ traumatic stories through visual expression opens our eyes to prejudices and stereotypes, sparking empathy through reflection. Ultimately, this collection of art presents the inhuman plight of refugees while, as a curative medium, showcases the human narrative embodied within this dark landscape. May history not simply categorize refugees, but instead, tell the story of their resilience in the face of adversity. 

With this body of work, I intend to provoke empathy towards refugee children. It is my desire that those who are afforded better opportunities can reach out, and through donations in support of education, help to elevate a child out of the cycle of poverty and exploration.  

I have always dreamed of creating a more peaceful world in which we collaborate, empathize, and uplift. Just as the process of painting gave me an escape during my childhood, in 2016 I co-founded and donated my art to the non-profit Education Unbound, to help others escape. Let us all pay that feeling forward for underprivileged children so that they, too, can write their story, complete with joy and boundless opportunities.”

You can support this program today by visiting Global Giving and making a donation, or you can bring the exhibit to you to support awareness in your community.