Creating a Mural With American Students and Syrian Refugees

An international non profit has partnered with schools and relief organizations for creating a mural with American students and Syrian refugees working together from across the globe.

Creating a Mural With American Students and Syrian RefugeesStudents at LaVenture Middle School in Mount Vernon started a mural that went to a refugee camp in Amman, Jordan, where children of Syrian refugees worked on it.  The project was facilitated through the international nonprofit Voices of the Children.

"(The Syrian children) really wanted to show the kids here what their village looked like before the war broke out. And what it could be again," said artist Benjamin Swatez, who worked on the  project with children in both locations.

"They have a different world (than) us," said Samantha Alarcon, 13. "They lost their home, and they want it back."

The mural which was started in Mount Vernon showed the beauty of the Skagit Valley.  A group of Syrian girls in Jordan completed it.  They then created their own mural to send to the Mount Vernon students so they could finish it.

"They really wanted everybody to see the beauty of Syria," Swatez said. "Not just focus on the war."

What seventh grader Nicole Gonzalez liked was that the Syrian children wrote English words, such as  "I love you school," and "I love family".   "I was proud of them," she said.

A second mural created by a group of Syrian boys will be completed by teens at the Oasis teen shelter.

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