More than 120 famous Middle Eastern artists like Mona Habtoun and Nabil Nahas donated pieces of art to be auctioned off during the Syri-Arts event that took place online and at Biel in Beirut. All of the money from the auction goes towards helping the growing number of Syrian refugee children.
Noura Jumblatt, one of the founders of Syri-Arts and wife of Lebanese MP Walid Jumblatt, can easily identify with the Syrian children as she also was exiled from Syria as a child.
“I do not think the world is aware that the minimum needs of these children aren’t being met,” she says.
The event was very successful noted Jumblatt, “The participation of artists was overwhelming and 150 artworks were donated and sold to benefit refuge children.”
Nicola Gitan, head of benefit auctions at Paddle8 says Syri-Arts is the most successful benefit auction Paddle8 has been part of.
– “Great artwork, great buyers, and an important cause,” he answers when asked what triggered the success.
– “The auction raised over $1.1 million”, Sarah Goulet, Head of Communications at Paddle8, told us.
Syrian artist, Fadi Al Hamwi, donated his favorite piece of art because of the tremendous importance of this cause.
-“This is a good initiative because it gives us artists a chance to help and contribute,” Al Hamwi tells us.
Syri-Arts Beirut is organized in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs, UNICEF, Save The Children International, Action Against Hunger, Syri-Art Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), and the Beirut Exhibition Center.
1,000,000 Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, of which 77% are women and children. 85% of the children are out of school. According to Syri-Arts, “The international community has failed in its collective responsibility towards the Syrian child. The children deserve immediate action to help alleviate the daily hardships they are facing in this colossal tragedy.” Maybe art is the answer.
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