Hannahs has helped to raise £1200 for Syrian refugees by hosting the From Syria with Love exhibition at Seale-Hayne. Over 200 people visited Hannahs at Seale-Hayne over four days to view the very moving exhibition of drawings by Syrian children.
All the children aged 5-18 are currently living in Al-Abrar refugee camp in Lebanon. The very poignant exhibition was organised by Baraa Ehsaan Kouja, a Syrian student at Exeter University, whose life has been transformed by working with the refugees.
Many of the works reflected the trauma that the young people have experienced. Alongside each picture there was a photo of the tent the artist is living in and a brief statement of that child’s dream. All their dreams focus on returning home and continuing their education. All the pictures were sold and raised money for the refugees living in Al-Abrar camp.
To launch the exhibition, Baraa Kouja gave an inspirational talk about his experiences with the refugees to a packed gallery. This was followed by a talk by former Hannahs art teacher Alexa Smith who had recently returned from ‘The Jungle’ in Calais where she worked as a volunteer and was profoundly affected by the experience. The third contribution came from Ahmed, a former UN worker, who fled Syria and embarked on a terrifying journey across several European countries, finally reaching the UK against all odds.
Baraa Kouja said “I was surprised and delighted by how many people came to the launch and visited the exhibition. People responded with so much sympathy towards the cause and I am so pleased that all the pictures sold and that we raised so much money for the refugees. People were very generous with their donations. The amount raised at the exhibition at Seale-Hayne was the second highest after London. I am also really pleased at how much interest there has been from the press as it has really helped to raise the profile of such a worthwhile cause”.