This image started out with a close-up of my carnelian necklace, with an overlay of grasses blowing in the wind against a back-drop of the Mediterranean, all orange colours, believe it or not.
Then I happened to come across a gizmo in PicMonkey relating to pink, the colour of love, and suddenly this piece of digital art was transformed from autumn harvest to the harvest of love.
I did this just after I’d been reading about a young refugee from Iraq on the Facebook page, Humans of New York. Brandon, who operates the HONY page, has been interviewing refugees in Turkey, some of whom have been offered refuge in the US, some not.
As a young girl, Aya saw her neighbour’s house blown to bits and her best friend lying on the ground, with her legs blown off, screaming as she died. This young woman was forced to leave Iraq with her family in the face of death threats and headed to Syria. The story hasn’t finished yet, the Syrian section remains to be told. At present Aya’s a refugee in Turkey and has just been turned down for acceptance to move to the US.
I know this young girl’s story has touched many, many hearts in the HONY community, as it did mine, I sat and cried as I read about the awful experiences of this woman in the wake of the illegal US-led war in Iraq. And I will be honest that I railed against Western leaders like Bush, Blair, Cheney and Howard who sanctioned this warfare and opened a Pandora’s box of immense suffering in the Middle East. They are war criminals who should be on trial in the International Court of Justice because they are no more than scum.
So I dedicate this piece of artwork to all those refugees seeking a home in a country where there is love, honour, justice, schooling, medical care, a roof over their heads and acceptance from a loving, accepting community. Know that those who care about refugees and asylum seekers far, far out-number those who live little, constrained lives of fear, hate and prejudice.
You can see Aya’s story in this interview with CNN: