A picture is worth a thousand words, and one glance of a child’s eyes tells a million stories about their long-lost childhoods. I took these photographs during my time in Iraq and Lebanon to document stories of war, exile, and pain.

The Castle Art Project

In 2015, I had the opportunity of participating in The Castle Art Project that took place in a former Saddam Prison, which is now home to Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, Iraq. Children were provided with painting supplies to creatively express their feelings on the walls of the prison, once a week.

As I volunteered to translate the Syrian Arabic dialect to the English-speaking foreigners working on the project, I felt the need to photograph these candid faces.

Orphan Fair

During my time as a freshman student at the Lebanese American University in 2016, I helped organize the Orphan Fair event the university held. The goal of this event was to draw a smile not only on the faces of the orphaned children but rather in their hearts.