Alaa al-Khader is an 18-year old Syrian artist who was displaced from Aleppo to the city of al-Bab. Her art was recently displayed in an art exhibition held by the Qeeam Cultural Foundation, a foundation that was forcefully displaced from Homs in early 2017.
In the city of al-Bab in northern Syria, an art exhibition has been organised by the Qeeam Cultural Foundation to raise public awareness of domestic abuse in Syria. One of the artists taking part in the exhibition, Alaa al-Khader, an 18 year-old who was displaced from her home in Aleppo, uses her paintings to highlight the reality of life in displacement and the issue of domestic abuse.
“I thank God for blessing me with skills and talents which I use to defend the oppressed and support them,” said Alaa. “I try to express my feelings about this [war] through my drawings. Each painting has a story and a tale that has impacted me, especially after I saw many members of society suffer from this.”
In addition to the art exhibition, the Qeeam Cultural Foundation has organised a series of lectures and seminars in al-Bab with an aim to prevent further domestic abuse in the city. The foundation seeks to organise more lectures in the near-future, with the hope that they can broaden their activism to include many more societal problems.
“Through these pictures, the exhibition aims to reveal the causes of social problems in our society, most notably domestic violence,” said one of the foundation’s members that have organised the exhibition and lectures. “Based on our institutions’ belief in human dignity, freedom and the family, children must have their full rights and not be subjected to domestic violence.”
The foundation was originally founded in the Wa’er neighbourhood of Homs City. However, in early 2017, the foundation was displaced to the city of al-Bab, which has been controlled by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and its allies since the defeat of ISIS in the region in early 2017 as part of Operation Euphrates Shield.
Since the foundation’s displacement, its volunteers have worked tirelessly to restore its activism in a new city. The success of their operations, in addition to the visible impact the foundation has achieved in preventing domestic abuse, has prompted the volunteers to expand their operations to the eastern Aleppo countryside.