“Famine 2016”

Drawings of 8-year-old Syrian refugee recall dangerous journey to Greece

An 8-year-old refugee from Syria, Shaharzad Hassan, has taken to drawing images of her hometown of Aleppo and the harrowing journey that took her to the refugee camp in northern Greece where she now lives. Shaharzad, her family, and 14,000 others are camped at Idomeni, on the Greek-Macedonian border. Over half of the refugees reaching Greece daily are fleeing civil war in Syria, and more than 40,000 people have been stranded in the country since Austria and the Balkan countries north of Greece began imposing border restrictions last month.

Sitting on the floor of a large tent crammed with 30 other families, Shaharzad sat quietly with her spiral notepad and a set of inexpensive marker pens. One of her drawings showed dead people and Islamic State fighters, dressed in black, shooting guns. “She saw them with her own eyes, with their black uniforms and beards,” Shaharzad’s father, Mohammed Hassan, explained.

A drawing of Shaharzad’s crossing to Greece included the image of a nearby boat sinking into the Aegean Sea while a Greek coast guard vessel endeavors to save its passengers. Another drawing, inspired by conditions at the camp, shows refugees waiting in long lines for food and other essentials. That piece is titled, “Famine 2016.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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