Syrian refugee painter paints for young war victims


This 18 December 2015 video is about Syrian painter Jomard Dirki, now painting while a refugee in the Netherlands.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

“I do it for my country, Syria is my heart.” The 47-year-old artist Jomard Dirki says that with a deep sigh. Three months ago he and his son arrived in the Netherlands after a long and dangerous journey.

“I was fleeing the fighting in Syria. The whole day there was fighting there. For nothing, they’re crazy.” Dirki and his son first stayed in Ter Apel and then moved to a refugee center in Apeldoorn.

There he paints almost every day in the Experience Centre of paint factory Royal Talens. Ten paintings will be up for sale tonight. The money is not for himself but for Serious Request. …

A Dutch radio charity activity

That Dirki can paint now in peace should be a relief for him. Not so long ago he, his wife and two children were fleeing the war in his homeland.

In Lebanon, they hoped to be safe, but the conditions there were very bad. His wife and daughter could stay with a relative in Qatar. Dirki undertook with his son the journey to Europe. Through countries including Turkey and Greece they came to the Netherlands.

including a dangerous part on a rubber boat at sea

Once in Apeldoorn his son saw by chance the Experience Centre of the local paint factory. Father and son were warmly welcomed by manager Daniël Sas, the artist was offered a workspace and materials.

Sas says, “Jomard is not allowed to make money because he does not have official refugee status. When I heard what the purpose was of Serious Request (money for young people in war zones, editor) I’ve discussed it with him. We thought.. How nice would it be for his paintings to serve this worthy cause.”

In six weeks Dirki painted ten works, mostly portraits. Tonight it will be clear for how much they will sell.

8 thoughts on “Syrian refugee painter paints for young war victims

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