Prayers for the People of Syria


Requiem for Syria

Tonight I pray that all of your families will find love, peace, joy and justice in their lives despite the many tragic losses suffered in the war torn country. Of Syria.  With great gratitude, I ask for the emanation of abundant blessings to enfold and comfort all of your families within this ever changing Life on Earth.

I give thanks for the lives of all who have passed into the arms and heart of Glory on High. May the angels of heaven wrap you in their wings of love and solace on these most holy nights of faithful vision and may the bounty of The Universe’s love and protection provide a flame of eternal hope throughout this time of sorrow and darkness for your blessed families.

Amen

Prayer by Janis Kirstein, U.S.A.

 

To enlarge these paintings please click on the thumbnails.

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Paintings to Honor the Sojourn of the Syrian Refugees April 7, 2017

I have created these paintings to honor those who have suffered loss of life, home or loved ones through the egregious misfortune of war in Syria.

The first two paintings present my hope and vision for all victims of this deadly war exhuming the Syrian countryside. The next four paintings reveal the fire and destruction endured by the exodus of people from Syria and celebrate the spirit of all who have survived and persevered throughout all of their many horrific challenges.

These paintings are mixed media on masonite blocks. Each painting is 8″ x 10.”

 


Three years ago, I tried to raise awareness of the atrocities of chemical warfare in Syria of the Assad regime on his own people. At that time I attempted to raise money through Hatchfund so I could create these works on a large scale.

I want to thank all who contributed and donated money to this cause that I started called “”Sojourn Empathies” to raise awareness of the refugees from war torn countries and their life experiences, specifically of the victims of Syrian women and children killed by chemical attacks in Syria by the Assad regime. Unfortunately I was not able to raise enough money for larger works and traveling exhibitions, but I was able to paint these small works as a testimony to the empathy of the American people.

At that this time three years ago, I received word of the use of chemical weapons used by the Assad regime on his own people including women and small children.  I also accessed the tangible evidence of many extremely graphic photographs of chemical war victims by the Assad government in Syria including women, and very small children, and the dozens of body bags that lined cold cement floors in basement bunkers as a result of this horrid brutality. These photos were all marked with the copyright notices of the United States Marines.

After seeing these photographs, I was inspired to raise the awareness of the American people of these atrocities occurring in Syria.

Though I was never able to raise the money for creating these larger art works, I still hold the suffering of the Syrians in my heart and mind, especially with the most recent occurrence of chemical weapons used in Syria by Assad.
Today I would like to share these images with you that express my empathy for the people of Syria at this time and the perilous journey of both the survivors as well as those who have passed to a realm of peace and glory.
Now after three years, I feel even more compelled to get these paintings out to the world to elicit compassion and empathy for these refugees.

My project was called “Sojourn Empathies.” It was my desire that people will come to realize the suffering of these people with everything they have been through and will understand that we must embrace their lives and experiences with compassion and empathy.

I am so eternally grateful for the donations I received from Abby Lane, Jan Arnow, Bob Abrams, Johanna Boz, Ada Assenjo, Jane Larsen Wigger, Lauren Hill and Myrl Kirstein. The funds I was trying to reach with a Hatchfund Challenge was  2,000.00 though I didn’t make my goal, I was so grateful to my supporters and so determined to support this cause that I created these small paintings anyway.

Writing and painting by Jan Kirstein

To see these paintings as framed prints, mounted metal prints, stretched canvas prints and other useful items on Fineartamerca, click here.

 

 

 

 

Paintings to Honor Refugee Sojourn


Paintings to Honor the Sojourn of the Syrian Refugees 2016

http://www.magisto.com/embed/KA9AIVwPG2tuThNgCzE?l=vem&o=w&c=b
I have created these paintings to honor those who have suffered loss of home or loved ones through the egregious misfortune of war. The first paintings reveal the fire and destruction endured by the exodus of people from war torn countries, the second group of these paintings reveal a hopeful healing process for these refugees.

These paintings are mixed media on masonite blocks. Each painting is 8″ x 10.”

These paintings have just been exhibited at the Louisville “Oneness Center” starting March 12, 2016 through the month of June. I just picked the paintings up today and found that an energy healing setting such as the Oneness Center was the perfect place for these paintings.

Two years ago, I tried to raise awareness and money so I could create these works on a large scale. I want to thank all who contributed and donated money to this cause that I started called “Sojourn Empathies” to raise awareness of the refugees from war torn countries and their life experiences.

 

 

 

image

 

Now after two years, I feel even more compelled to get these paintings out to the world to elicit compassion and empathy for these refugees.

 

My project was called “Sojourn Empathies.” It was my desire that people will come to realize the suffering of these people with everything they have been through and will understand that we must embrace their lives and experiences with compassion and empathy.

 

I am so eternally grateful for the donations I received from Abby Lane, Jan Arnow, Bob Abrams, Johanna Boz, Ada Assenjo, Jane Larsen Wigger, Lauren Hill and Myrl Kirstein. The funds I was trying to reach with a Hatchfund Challenge was 2,000.00 though I didn’t make my goal, I was so grateful to my supporters and so determined to support this cause that I created these small paintings anyway.

 

image

 

I welcome you to view these paintings: “Coming Out of the Fire.” I’m a painter, sculptor, photographer and writer of short stories & children’s stories containing my illustrations & poetry. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed teaching Visual Arts at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Indiana University, the University of Louisville and Kentucky State. Besides creating my own original works of art & exhibiting, I currently teach at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Kentucky.

 

 

image

My creative process combines a mixture of media, including acrylic, pastel, colored pencil & Photoshop. To achieve the ‘atmospheric abstraction’ seen in my work, I especially make use of transparent layering. The size or scale of my pieces can often rely on the Nano image scale with the larger scale of an atmospheric universal firmament orientation to present ‘a microcosm of a microcosm’. That means both realities are visible at once, which creates a paradox or sense perceptive omnipotence in the viewer, much like being able to see that which is hidden by virtue of manipulation within a constructed reality.

In the spring of 2007, I was fortunate to be included in the first International Nano Art Exhibit in Finland, an exhibit of artists working with electron microscope images as a basis for creative exploration! I have also exhibited in several countries, including Japan, South Korea, Spain, Peru & Austria, as well as throughout the United States.

To see options for purchasing these images as prints on paper, framed, on stretched canvas, click on this link: janis-kirstein.pixels.comjanis-kirstein.pixels.com or contact me if you are interested in the originals at janiskirstein@icloud.com

Thank you for viewing my paintings and, please, contact me with any questions you may have about the works.

 

COMING OUT OF THE FIRE


Paintings to Honor the Sojourn of the Syrian Refugees 2016

http://www.magisto.com/embed/KA9AIVwPG2tuThNgCzE?l=vem&o=w&c=b

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I have created these paintings to honor those who have suffered loss of home or loved ones through the egregious misfortune of war. The first paintings reveal the fire and destruction endured by the exodus of people from war torn countries, the second group of these paintings reveal a hopeful healing process for these refugees.

These paintings are mixed media on masonite blocks. Each painting is 8″ x 10.”

These paintings have just been exhibited at the Louisville “Oneness Center” starting March 12, 2016 through the month of  June. I just picked the paintings up today and found that an energy healing setting such as the Oneness Center was the perfect place for these paintings.

Two years ago, I tried to raise awareness and money so I could create these works on a large scale. I want to thank all who contributed and donated money to this cause, yet I was not able to reach the financial goal to receive the Hatchfund grant, that I was attempting to get , so I created these paintings anyway.

 

Now after two years, I feel even more compelled to get these paintings out to the world to elicit compassion and empathy for these refugees. My failed project was called “Sojourn Empathies.” It is my desire that people will come to realize the suffering of these people with everything they have been through and will understand that we must embrace their lives and experiences with compassion and empathy.

 

image

 

I imagewelcome you to view these paintings: “Coming Out of the Fire.”  I’m a painter, sculptor, photographer and writer of short stories & children’s stories containing my illustrations & poetry. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed teaching Visual Arts at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Indiana University, the University of Louisville and Kentucky State. Besides creating my own original works of art & exhibiting, I currently teach at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Kentucky.

 

image

 

 

 

image

 

 

My creative process combines a mixture of media, including acrylic, pastel, colored pencil & Photoshop. To achieve the ‘atmospheric abstraction’ seen in my work, I especially make use of transparent layering. The size or scale of my pieces can often rely on the Nano image scale with the larger scale of an atmospheric universal firmament orientation to present ‘a microcosm of a microcosm’. That means both realities are visible at once, which creates a paradox or sense perceptive omnipotence in the viewer, much like being able to see that which is hidden by virtue of manipulation within a constructed reality.

In the spring of 2007, I was fortunate to be included in the first International Nano Art Exhibit in Finland, an exhibit of artists working with electron microscope images as a basis for creative exploration! I have also exhibited in several countries, including Japan, South Korea, Spain, Peru & Austria, as well as throughout the United States.

To see options for purchasing these images as prints on paper, framed, on stretched canvas, or metal, or as totebags, cell phone covers, throw pillows, duvet covers  shower curtains, or t-shirts, click this link:  janis-kirstein.fineartamerica.com

 

Thank you for viewing  my paintings and, please, contact me with any questions you may have about the works.

 

 

 

EVERY KID LOVES TO PAINT: Syrian Refugees Get Educational Experience in Southern Turkey


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Syrian refugee schools flourish in southern Turkey
By Clare Richardson JANUARY 2, 2014 Reuters
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Reyhanli, Turkey – In a classroom in southern Turkey, 8-year-old children proudly display their colored-pencil drawings. They include images of the things that make them happiest: hearts, houses and other images typical for children their age. They also show anti-aircraft missiles and revolutionary flags.

Syrian girls attending Al Salam school draw pictures in a workshop with the program Zeitouna in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Credit: Clare Richardson)

In Reyhanli, a small town in Turkey’s southernmost province of Hatay, children who have fled the war in Syria attend school at Al Salam, where displaced Syrian teachers conduct classes in Arabic. Despite tensions with local communities, Syrian schools have cropped up in southern Turkey to serve a flood of refugee children in their native tongue.

When headmistress Hazar Al Mahayni opened Al Salam – or “peace” school – in October 2012, she expected to enroll about 300 students. In the first week of school, 900 turned up.

Al Salam is one of six Syrian schools operating in Reyhanli. Once part of Syria, Hatay became its own republic for one year before voting to join Turkey in 1939. Reyhanli’s position on the Turkish-Syrian border, a short trip from Aleppo, makes it a convenient destination for refugees. Many of the men cross back into Syria each day to work or fight, leaving their wives and children on the Turkish side, Al Mahayni says.

In Gaziantep, a city of over 1 million people in southern Turkey, the Levant Center opened a sparkling new facility this October to teach approximately 500 Syrian students from the age of 2 until adulthood.

Ahmad Chalati, the school’s director, used to run Academia Institute in Aleppo, Syria. He says the Levant Center is the first private school for Syrian children in Gaziantep.

Muna shows the paint on her hands from painting a mural on the wall of Al Salam School in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Credit: Clare Richardson)

The heads of both the Levant Center and Al Salam say their schools are funded independently – Chalati’s through a private investor and Al Mahayni’s through private donations, charity drives and tuition from a sister school in Montreal. Both schools want to offer students an education in their own language without involving them in politics.

Syrian children arrive in Turkey unable to communicate in Turkish, a hindrance that isolates them from the local community.

“Children feel like strangers because of the language barrier,” Al Mahayni says.

Syrian teachers at the Levant Center teach lessons in English and Arabic, and students take a Turkish language class once a week.

Twenty-year-old student Safi left the University of Aleppo after his second year studying architecture. Now he prepares for the TOEFL at the Levant Center with the hope of winning admission to his school of choice, the University of Gaziantep. He hopes to continue his studies in architecture, a subject he considers important for the future of Syria.

“That will be very necessary to rebuild the country after the war,” he said.

From Saturday through Thursday, Al Salam school runs three rotations a day based on age group. Each child receives three hours of education each day, following a modified version of the Syrian school curriculum.

One year ago, Al Mahayni worked as a pharmacist in Montreal, Canada. On Saturdays she volunteered at École Al Salam, an Islamic Arabic school. When war broke out in Syria, she and her colleagues decided to open a branch of the school in Reyhanli.

“They come here singing revolutionary songs, and we try to teach them children’s songs,” Al Mahayni says.

Ahmad, Muhamah, Harun, and Abdulla pose in front of the gate they helped paint at the entrance to Al Salam School in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (Credit: Nick St. Oegger)

The children did not escape Syria’s war when they arrived in Reyhanli. In May 2013, two car bombs exploded in the town center, killing more than 50 people in what was called the deadliest terrorist attack on Turkish soil.

Tensions between migrant Syrians and the local population rose afterward as locals blamed immigrants for attracting the violence.

Al Mahayni says the bombings added to Syrian families’ isolation in Reyhanli. Parents keep children inside for their safety, and as the demand for housing skyrockets, entire families often live crowded together in single rooms. Al Mahayni says many arrive in Turkey undocumented and try to keep a low profile in the community.

As a winter storm bore down on the region and the temperature plunged below freezing this month, Syrian children at Al Salam painted murals, played soccer — 20-kids to a side — and took lessons in storyboarding during a week of programming through Zeitouna, an educational mentoring program for displaced Syrian children supported by the Karam Foundation and funded by private donations from organizations such as the Syrian American Medical Society and the Sagar Foundation.

Royan, wearing a trash bag as a smock, holds up a victory sign while painting a mural in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Credit: Clare Richardson)

Artists from AptART, an organization working to create art with children affected by conflict and commissioned by Zeitouna for the project, dressed students in makeshift trash-bag smocks to paint a skyline on the school wall. Turkish military convoys rolled down a road overlooking Al Salam’s courtyard, framed by the snow-capped mountains of Syria.

A team of dentists set up shop in a classroom to do sealants, give fluoride treatments and extract teeth on site. Children lined up nervously outside, several leaving the makeshift clinic with tears in their eyes, cotton wads in their cheeks, and dental hygiene kits.

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, the number of registered Syrian refugees has more than doubled since March. More than 2.2 million registered refugees have fled across Syria’s borders, at least 557,000 into Turkey. The agency predicts the number of refugees could nearly double again in 2014.

One year after its inception, Al Salam school serves 1,200 students in Reyhanli. There are 1,000 more on the waiting list, and Al Mahayni says new children arrive from Syria every day.