The year-long Syrian conflict has displaced millions. From the horrors of Aleppo to the sheer struggle of the journey to safety, Syrians everywhere are fighting to survive, and the sheer numbers of children affected by this are catastrophic. A new hardship begins when a child makes it to their new home. Strange environments, foreign people, and often a new language make fitting in incredibly traumatic.
This was the origin of the Syrian comic, Haawiyat. The comic will be 8 pages with a full-color cover and published in Arabic. Filled with well-known Syrian folktales this comic will bring children something that brings comfort, a taste of home, and will be something they can hold in their hands and say most unequivocally is their own.
The comic was the idea of A. David Lewis. As he explained in the press announcement:
If I was a doctor, I would pick up my medic bag. If I was a soldier, I would pick up a weapon. I am a professor, a comic writer, and a father. I am helping where I can, how I can. Children are scared, disoriented, and feeling lost. We have to give them hope. This is phase one of a grand plan. We want to reach more kids in more places with phase two.
An incredible team of creators and translators have volunteered to donate their time to create the title. Ka-blam Digital Printing will be creating the book gratis, Comicraft is donating a font, and Nadia Alawa’s renowned NuDay Syria will graciously distribute the book overseas as well as report on its effect. There are tentative plans to expand on this idea and their participation will be crucial.
The stories to be included are The King’s Daughter’s Earring, The Miller and The Two Djinn, and The Story Of The Five Cakes. Each tale was specifically chosen for their trigger free nature and relevance to current issues children are most likely dealing with.
Creators include Rob Croonenborghs, Jim Shaw, Joseba Morales, Mexi Gremillion, and Ursula Murray Husted. Taylor Hastings will be lettering and Farrah Hamza is translating. Initial drop sites for the comic include Northern Syria and Turkey. Shipping will begin in February. Are you a creator interested in participating in phase two? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.