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Photo of Sedra and Shahd  from CuteRoots.com

By Mai Mazloum and Nandika Ravi

Two sisters who sought refuge in Canada to escape the war in Syria, feel shielded and tucked away from the chaos in their country. But they say that they will “never forget” their friends and the children who remain in Syria. Now, they’ve started a fundraiser to help out these displaced children.

Sedra Alshamaly, 12 and Shahd Alshamaly, 10, came to Canada in 2012. While they were very young at the time, Sedra said her memories of Syria still live on.

“Moving to a safe country doesn’t mean forgetting those who were left behind,” Sedra said.

“I still remember my father photographing our house before we left, and I was wondering why he photographed them, (thinking) we will return in two or three months,” she adds.

The sisters have started a fundraising effort for Syria, painting small canvases, depicting their childhood in Syria and how Syrian children are suffering in camps.

“We are not only using our voices for our benefits but for others’ happiness and safety.”

The sisters want people to see Syria not as a country of war and destruction, but as a country of civilizations and peace. The girls strongly believe that art is the best way to communicate with people across the globe and achieve what some people might feel impossible to do.

“I want to convey my voice and the voice of all Syrian children who are unable to move here and I want to say that anyone can do something even if it is only a small thing, anyone can change the ugly reality, because I believe that children are able to change,” Sedra said.

Postcards by Sedra and Shahd Photo by: https://cuterootscards.com/elegant-art-postcards

“I dream that all Syrian children will be happy, I dream that I see smiles on their faces and that they live a decent life like the one we live,” Shahd said.

Sedra and Shahd’s paintings are printed on Elegant Art postcards; Created in collaboration with CuteRoots. The paper in these postcards is made from wildflower seeds and can be planted.  All profits generated from the purchase of these postcards will be donated to efforts in Syria supporting refugee camps in a variety of ways from access to education, health care, and winter essentials.