Finding Peace in Art

Amina, 21, used to live in Aleppo with her family and study at school. She had big dreams of the future until the war reached her area in 2012. Militants attacked her village who burned her house and bombarded it. With her parents and five siblings, she left to Turkey in 2012 and stayed in a camp in Gaziantep for several years. In spite of the camp hard conditions, she did not want to give up and continued her studied until she finished her high school education. Later, the parents wed her off hoping that she would find a better life than the one in the camp before they realized it was a mistake. Amina’s husband, Mohammad, used to beat her on several occasions for a year before she got pregnant. One day, she went to visit her parents and had an argument with her husband on the phone. After that, she decided not to return and stay with her parents. After a few months, she has a cesarean delivery for her daughter, Aya, and her parents had to move outside the camp to live in a regular house to keep her and her baby in a good health. Amina’s husband, Mohammad, tried to convince his wife to return but she did not accept because he never contacted her during her pregnancy. “I don’t want to return to him because I don’t want to lose my daughter”, she said. After her divorce, she went through depression especially that she was staying at home all the time until one day someone informed her about embroidery classes for women held by IOM. As she started attending those classes, she gradually started to feel happier. “I love those sessions,” she said. “I am having fun with the other women. There is a wonderful atmosphere with that art and I was able to be out of that depressing mood after my divorce”. At present, she is thinking of finding a job to be an independent woman and to support her only daughter whom she loves the most in the world.


Amina working on her new embroidery piece after she puts her seven months old baby to sleep in Ensar Community Center in Gaziantep. ©IOM April, 2019 /Nadine Al Lahham.