Ammar – The Young Artist

Throughout our search and rescue operations, we have come across thousands of men, women and children, each with their own journey and background, who have fled their countries in search of a better life. During our mission in the Aegean Sea, we rescued a Syrian family between Turkey and Greece. They were travelling with their son, Ammar; here, he explains to the crew his love of painting and his hopes for the future.

My name is Ammar, I am from Syria and I am travelling with my mum, my brother, my dad and my sister. I was going to school in Syria, but because of the war, I couldn’t stay in school. I like going to school and I like drawing but now in Syria there is the war. Today I was not afraid at all, because there I couldn’t go to school and I couldn’t paint, but when I’ll be over there [in Europe], I will go back, I will paint, I will be someone famous and the whole world will like my paintings. That’s why I’ve been very strong and brave. When I was younger, I was very happy to live with my mum and dad, to go to school and to paint. But when the war began, there were a lot of problems, I couldn’t go to school anymore, although I still wanted to learn. This is because my mum and dad have studied, they both went to university, but us, we did not study.

Why do you enjoy painting?

When I paint I relax. My mum says that when I draw I bring out what’s inside of me. I concentrate really hard when I paint, and I don’t like people to bother me.

Could you show me a drawing and explain it to me?

I really like this drawing, because I miss school as I haven’t been for a long time, so I drew myself at school while it’s snowing. In Syria we don’t have a lot of snow. It doesn’t snow very often.


When you will be in Europe, do you want to continue drawing? Will you draw about Europe?

My uncles and aunties have told me that in Germany the schools are very good and people there really like drawing, so I will become an artist. Because you are always in the middle of the sea and you are on this ship, I want to give you this painting as a present for you. I will never forget you, I really liked you, because I like people looking at my drawings and encouraging me.


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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.