Young Artists For Syria (YAFS) is a community project by MY Voice Canada. Youth in the GTA who have a passion for art and charity have come together to paint the impacts conflicts have had and continue to have on Syria and its people. Although we try to show honest reflections of the destruction in Syria that war has caused, the paintings also contain solutions. The paintings share a message of awareness while also sharing a message of hope and the possibility of better things to come. Despite the devastation of historical Syrian landmarks, YAFS believes that their beauty still lives on, even if, for the time being, it is simply in the canvases on which we paint. Our paint brushes cover our canvases with bereavement, longing, prospect and faith, as we try to capture the journey of a Syrian refugee. Some of us depict this journey explicitly while others opt for metaphorical illustrations. YAFS hopes to create artworks that are therapeutic for both the artist and the viewer. It has been an honour having a government-sponsored Syrian refugee on our team of artists. Seeing her paint her story has been a privilege, but one that comes with a heavy cost. We are hoping her experience in YAFS is one of solace and healing. We welcome you with open arms and tender hearts to your home away from home.
  • Thana Zeyara - Studying Graphic Design at OCAD University with a goal to help as many people as she can with her artistic abilities.
  • Sereen Aziz - Attending White Oaks Secondary School for her grade twelve year and hopes to continue art in post-secondary. Passionate about incorporating art with volunteer work to help disadvantaged communities.
  • Nouran Alabdeh - A grade 12 student at the Woodlands Secondary School. Enjoys painting, pencil drawing and loves fashion design. Loves nature and enjoys taking pictures of beautiful landscapes and the clouds. Loves high places and thrilling sports like skydiving.
  • Mariam Zubair - A second-year student at the University of Waterloo in pursuit of becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant. Enjoys exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Canada, writing deep narratives and painting colorful abstracts.
  • Maarya Abdulkarim - A second year student at the University of Toronto, studying life sciences, hoping to pursue a career in the healthcare field. Enjoys taking photographs during her free time.
  • Fareeha Waheed - A first year student at Humber College for Food and Nutrition management. Top interests include the science behind food and interpreting the deep ideas behind different art works. Taking in the beauty of the natural world and the inspiration behind visual arts will always stand out to her.
  • Aisha Hyder - A second year student at WesternU who aspires to work in mental health care. Finds meaning in painting, collecting quotes and gazing at the moon. Is unapologetically Muslim.
  • Aiman Faheem - A grade 12 homeschooled student aspiring to become a Psychologist whilst enhancing her skills of being a self-taught artist and writer.
  • Aiesha Baig - A self-taught artist who plans to attend OCAD university to turn a passion into a career. Enjoys reading, writing and all forms of art.
  • Famya Mahmud - Famya is a young professional currently working downtown in the financial district. Her art work includes a unique take on landscapes usually deriving inspiration from the laws of nature and divinity itself. In her spare time she likes to play racket sports and spend time with her family and friends.
  • Noor Abdel-Baset - A second year student at York University, studying Kinesiology and Health Sciences in hopes of becoming a paediatrician one day. Besides painting, enjoys reading books in her free time.
  • Nirma Jbara - Pursuing a Child and Social Psychology degree, Nirma is a second year student at the University of Toronto (Mississauga). She is a research assistant in child and infant study labs at UTM, and she hopes to apply her degree to benefit the community in the future. She also enjoys exploring art mediums and working out in her free time.
  • Farzana Islam - A high school student at Albert Campbell who wants to change the world with her art.
  • Mashaal Oturkar
  • Maleeha Nasri
Young Artist for Syria’s (YAFS) first project began by creating paintings to place in a silent auction to raise funds for Syrians in need in our community. YAFS found the Mental Wellness First Aid Kit; a project that helps deliver psychological aid to Syrian newcomers and was created in collaboration with the Syrian Canadian Foundation and the Al-Qazzaz Foundation. Our paintings were exhibited at MuslimFest and the Muslim Awards of Excellence (MAX) Gala in 2017, and were all auctioned off to raise a total of over 2000 dollars for the project. During our process, our team was covered by CBC News and CP24, to discuss our work.
For painting titles and descriptions, select the image, click on the "i".
On February 16, 2018, Young Artists for Syria (YAFS) held their Young Artists for Burma launch at The Atrium in Toronto. YAFS decided to raise funds for Burma Task Force and raise awareness for the Rohingya genocide because it is a crisis in dire need of help. Our program consisted of speakers and spoken word artist, Javeria Ghori, refreshments and a large display of paintings up for our silent auction. Guest speakers such as Solaman Aryobi; the Outreach Coordinator for Burma Task Force and Dharshini Krishnamurthi; the Advocacy Director for STAND Canada came to speak more about their knowledge on the genocide and what we can do to help. Another speaker was Mohammed Saifullah; a Rohingya youth, who came to speak about his personal experiences as a Rohingya and of how we can help make a difference.
For painting titles and descriptions, select the image, click on the "i".
Check out the current auction items HERE!