A Collective Work of Lebanese and Syrian artists on the impact of war on childhood
Haneen, or Yearning is the outcome of a project commissioned by UNICEF Lebanon and Beyond Association through their press club.
The idea of a Press Club as a therapeutic art initiative through creative writing and storytelling is routinely implemented at their Protection Centers. The aim is to alleviate stress and anxiety caused by war and displacement felt by dozens of thousands of Syrian refugee children in informal tented settlements in Lebanon. The club provides the children with a space for self-expression through writing and reading.
The series of essays that is the core of Haneen, was written by the children, inspired by their personal experiences and the little they recall from their homes back in Syria. Their stories were then passed on to a group of artists, tasked with visualizing through visual and aural works of art, the wisdom and weight of the words of a generation of Syrians that rarely are seen or heard.
39 poems and stories written by Syrian children in different informal tented settlements in Lebanon, interpreted by 47 Lebanese and Syrian artists
The Arabic word haneen captures everything these children would have liked us to understand. Haneen means longing, yearning for something you’ve lost; a tender feeling. In this context, it is a nostalgic longing of a long-lost home, of a world that is no more. That is their reality.
This project is unique because the children were given space to freely express themselves and because the artists were given freedom for their own interpretations, resulting in a rare glimpse into minds, hearts and memories of war that both have in common.
Haneen: a generational transmission of memory though art.