One of the winning entries: 11-year Syrian refugee Omar sitting on a cliff | Photo: UNHCR
One of the winning entries: 11-year Syrian refugee Omar sitting on a cliff | Photo: UNHCR

The UN refugee agency declared the winners of an art competition for schoolchildren in Greece this week. Among them is an 11-year-old Syrian refugee. The goal of the contest was to send a message about the importance of unity, solidarity and equality.

The Greek branch of the UNHCR released a statement on Thursday, announcing the winners of the 24th edition of their national student art contest. This year's motto was "The UN turns 75: We shape today the future we imagine," in honor of the United Nations' 75th anniversary.

The contest was held online from November 2020 to February 2021. Students of all grades were called on to submit their artworks. According to the UNHCR, more than 500 children submitted entries -- roughly half of them from refugee families.

Syrian refugee from Samos won

Contest winners include an 11-year-old Syrian refugee named Omar, who lives on the Greek island of Samos. He created a drawing entitled "The right to dream." It depicts a child (himself) sitting on the edge of a cliff, looking out at the horizon.

"In this portrait I place myself on the edge of a cliff. It's the only place I can find the peace I have inside. The peace and tranquility I seek in my soul. Sitting there, I think. I think and wonder about the future. The future of me and my family. The future that I have so far been deprived of, and that the war in Syria has deprived us all of," he wrote in a note accompanying his work, Greek media reported.

The winners will receive a tablet that includes a keyboard and can thus also be used as a laptop.

 

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