Refugee life is hard enough on a kid, this artist is trying to brighten up their school

More than 2.6 million Syrian children are not in school, many of them having left in the midst of a war now in its fifth year. Syrian artist Diala Brisly lives in Beirut, where thousands of refugees have arrived this year after escaping war in Syria, and wants to help them return.

Brisly left her home in Damascus in 2013 and moved to Turkey for a year and a half, later landing in Beirut. In the summer of 2014, she met a woman who was founding a school for refugees in Arsal, Lebanon, a small town near the Syrian border whose student population swelled in 2013 with the arrival of hundreds of new children from Syria.

Brisly had previously painted a mural for a children’s hospital in Damascus and she thought a similar project could help lift students’ spirits, encouraging them to return back to school.

“Sometimes they have schools, [but] they are just tents … I thought, if [I] put some colors and some murals, it will be nice and will encourage them to go back to school again,” she said.

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shan palmer