"Everyday, when I go to school and see my picture, I wave at the ‘other me’ on the wall. It’s the greatest feeling in the world!"
Eesra Fathallah is a bright 11-year old Syrian girl who fled the war and sought refuge in Jordan, together with her family. She now lives in Amman and regularly attends a school where she is well liked.
Over the summer, Eesra joined other Syrian and Jordanian classmates to decorate the walls of their schools with beautiful painted murals. This is the ‘Happy Walls’ initiative, part of the QUDRA project which increases social cohesion and dialogue between Syrian refugees and local community children.
Eesra explains: “What I learnt from the project is that we need to help each other out. Like we say, in Arabic, we should become as indispensable to each other as the five fingers are to the hand.”
Eesra is no ordinary teenager. She shines at school through her good grades, but also amongst her friends through her loving and caring nature. But above all, Eesra shares her passion for drawing with her sister and her mother. She makes no secret that this is what her life will be all about one day: art and fashion design.
“I like the feeling of the pencil in my hand when I draw. My ambition is to become a professional fashion designer,” she confesses with a sparkle in her eyes.
Many people around her are convinced that Eesra’s journey might lead her to become a renowned artist in the not so distant future. Her story, like many other Syrian refugees, showcases how resilience and determination can actually make a difference.
The QUDRA project is helping nearly 600,000 Syrians and local communities in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to become more resilient and part of a cohesive society.