- Published: Thursday, 01 December 2016 00:00
Inhabitat (Web-Blog) from 01.12.2016 - Author: Liz Eve
Those fleeing Syria have not only lost homes, security and often loved ones, they've had to endure the destruction of their cultural heritage. Exiled artists in Jordan's Za'atari Refugee Camp are fighting back to preserve these historic landmarks by creating miniatures from local stone and recycled waste materials.
Read on to meet some of the artists and admire the beautiful structures they've built with painstaking care so that future generations will not forget where they come from.
Working only with basic tools and materials sourced at the Za’atari camp. Refugees are reconstructing iconic Syrian sites such as Palmyra and the Krak des Chevaliers castle in Homs. “We chose this project to highlight what is happening in Syria because many of these sites are under threat or have already been destroyed,” explains project coordinator Ahmad Hariri from Dara’a.
Hariri brought the group together and helps collect raw materials. He hopes the project will educate children in the camp about their homeland. “There are lots of kids living here who have never seen Syria or who have no memory of it. They know more about Jordan than about their own country.” The project has also given the artists a sense of purpose. “By doing this work, they feel like they are at least doing something to preserve their culture.”
Mahmoud, from Dara’a, built a model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. As he worked, he learned that the site had fallen under the control of armed groups. “I’m very worried about what is happening,” he said. “This site represents our history and culture, not just for Syrians but all of the humanity. If it is destroyed it can never be rebuilt.”
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