My Childhood Is Mine

21 original drawings and paintings by children

Mahabba Gharzeddine

  • Participating children:
    Aman Al Hafez 
    Bisan Al Hafez 
    Hadi Al Hafez 
    Fatima Al Zahra Aker
    Marah Barghouth 
    Emad Khoulani 
    Abdulrahman Nayla 
    Sana Nayla 
    Zaid Shurbaji 
Young Artists

My Childhood is Mine is a collection of 21 original artworks drawn or painted by nine children, and by Mahabba herself. Each work of art reflects a story, an incident, or a dream in the life of the child. The works were completed after a series of one-to-one sessions between Mahabba and the children in which they talked about their lives before and after leaving Syria. The collection highlights the suffering and the losses the children have faced. It also emphasises that children are not simply numbers – as they are often represented in media around the world. They are human beings. They express their experiences through art.

Aman Al Hafez | I’m 7 years old, from Daraya, Syria. I like drawing, playing basketball and riding bicycles. I want to be a painter in the future because I love painting. I start my day by going early to school. When I come back home in the afternoon, I play and watch TV then I do my homework, have dinner and go to bed early.

Bisan Al Hafez | I’m 14 years old, from Daraya, Syria. My hobbies are drawing, reading and riding bicycles. I want to be an astronomer; I like space, stars and the planets. I go to school, come back home, have lunch, do my homework and listen to music. I go to bed early.

Hadi Al Hafez | I’m 14 years old, from Daraya, Syria. I like swimming, riding bicycles, playing football and drawing. I want to be a computer engineer in the future. I wake up at 7am, have breakfast and go to school at 7.30am. When I come back home, I have lunch, help my mother and watch TV. At 5:30pm I do my homework. I go to bed at 10pm.

Fatima Al Zahra Aker | I’m from Muaadamya, Damascus. I’m in grade 8. I want to be a psychologist. I start my day at 7am, when my mother goes to work and my brother to his school. I stay at home alone because I study at afternoon school. Till that time, I do my homework. If I don’t have homework, I spend my time drawing. When I come back from school in the evening I have lunch, spend time with my family and go to bed. At weekends, I enjoy writing and reading or visit relatives with my family.

Marah Barghouth | I’m from Qimarya, Damascus. I’m 15 years old, and in the 9th grade at school. I live in Jdita in the Bekaa Valley. I like taking photos and drawing as a hobby. I go to school every morning then come back home to have lunch, watch TV and do my homework. I sometimes go shopping with my mother. I like Science and Maths. I go to bed at 10pm. I want to be a doctor to be able to help people.

Emad Khoulani | I was born in 2009 and I am 8 years old. I’m in grade 2 at Morsal Typical School in Taalabaya. I like reading and playing football. I want to be a chemist in the future. I go to school at 8am and come back home at 2.30pm to have lunch, watch TV and tell my mother and brother about my day. I do my homework then spend the evening with my grandparents who live with us. I go to bed at 9pm. I never forget to pray for my father to come back and live with us.

Abdulrahman Nayla | I’m from Daraya, Damascus. I’m 8 years old, and in the first grade at school. I want to be an astronaut and watch the world from outer space. I like playing football, drawing and reading about space. I’m also interested in electronics. I live with my mother, sister, grandparents and my two uncles. I’m waiting to be reunited with my father in Germany. I wake up at 7am, dress myself and go to school with my sister on the bus. We come back at 2.45pm and wait for our mother to come back from her work and have lunch with us. After lunch I do my homework, play and often visit some friends. My mother reads us a story before we sleep at 8pm.

Sana Nayla | I’m from from Daraya, Syria and I’m 6 years old. I came to Lebanon in 2013. I live with my mother and brother in Taalabaya, Bekaa Valley. I’m waiting to meet my father again in Germany.

Zaid Shurbaji | I’m from Daraya, Damascus. I’m 8 years old. I play football and basketball as hobbies. I want to be a chemical engineer in the future. I wake up at 6.30am, dress myself and go to school. I get back home at 2.30pm and watch TV, sometimes draw, do my homework and help my mother with household work.

Mahabba is a young Syrian woman who has been in Lebanon since 2013. She is studying preschool education at the Rafiq Al Hariri Institute, and currently works as a child minder at Women Now for Development. Mahabba is interested in art and handicrafts. Her hobbies include drawing and writing poetry. She participated in Small Roses, an exhibition for handicraft art in Syria in 2010, and took part in a play for children called The Forest of Animals in 2016. She also contributed to two puppet theatre productions for children at the Women Now centre in 2016.