Sezara: “Painting helps me forget whatever makes me sad. With painting I can feel good”

Copyright Sezara for SolidarityNow

Since she was a child, she remembers hearing that it is not allowed for her as well as for the other people living in Afghanistan -her country- to paint and generally to engage in any form of art. Let alone to women.

The 15-year-old Sezara, recalls this memory, but she is lucky enough to grew up in a family that this prohibition could not be accepted as a fact. It was and remains an unreasonable prohibition for every reasonable human being.

Thus, when Sezara and her family fled Afghanistan for Iran, in this first migration trip towards a better life, she started painting and has not stopped since then – Painting helps me forget whatever makes me sad; when I paint, I feel happier”.

The next trip of Sezara’s family was this time to Europe. Today, they all live safely together in the open accommodation structure for refugees and asylum seekers in Ritsona (Boeotia region in Greece). This safety allows Sezara to enthusiastically state that “I don’t know what I want to become when I am older, I just know that I want to experience everything!

In Ritsona, Sezara has found a new home and has made her daily routine in a way that it is allowed to engage herself in the things she really wants. She goes to high school, reads literature, meditates with her friend Mohadesa and of course she paints either alone or with her friends, Mohadesa and Mozhda.

Sezara paints everything; landscapes, portraits, objects. She loves black and white, but she paints colorfully. By her side, it is always her family – “my parents have always been very supportive“, she says proudly.

Her favorite work is a painting with the sign of victory and this because even though she lives in Ritsona as she says, which is a structure for refugees, we, women, can win! We can be free and become what we wish! However, she did not choose this painting to come with her story, but another beautiful painting of hers depicting a little girl walking in nature.

Sezara’s dreams are as many and intense as her need to gain many experiences! When Sezara speaks and describes feelings and future plans it is obvious to her companion that she is not holding back! She speaks with enthusiasm, laughs out loud, makes lively gestures, it seems that the narrow boundaries of a structure -luckily- do not fit her!

Our conversation with Sezara came to an end and we were happy to find out about her dreams, “first and foremost, I want to help the homeless find a home. And then to support them to pursue their dreams, as I do!”. At SolidarityNow, we stand proudly by her side that we can contribute even a little to her dreams. Through the activities taking place in the organization’s “Homework and Creative Activities Centre”* in the structure of Ritsona, Sezara and the other children are empowered to live well in the present and plan to live much better in the future. The road to this goes through education.

* The project “All Children in Education” (ACE) is implemented by SolidarityNow with support and funding from UNICEF Greece.