As part of the Creative Learning Program in Nour Festival, renowned Syrian children’s book author and illustrator Nadine Kaadan read to students from the local Oxford Gardens Primary School her latest book Ghadan (Tomorrow), the story of a little boy living through civil war, facing the uncertainties and anxieties of many Syrian children.
In response, the children created postcards with drawings and messages of hope and support to children living the adversity of the Syrian conflict and sent them out to those currently living in refugee camps.
Kaadan was uncertain about the impact this story may have on children in the UK as she explains in her Arab British Centre blog post:
I’ve read this book to Syrian children in different circumstances – many of whom had to flee their homes and live in refugee camps to escape the war. I found that the story helped to give them a safe space to share some of their own anxieties and trauma with living through the war. At first, I was a bit worried about the idea of explaining a painful conflict to children in the UK, and wondered what their reactions would be, but I was touched to see that they arrived to the workshop with such empathy about what Syrian kids were going through.
This workshop which was held at the Damascus Room Exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum enabled 16 children to send out postcards to other children facing anxieties and uncertainties at refugee camps.