Awareness Week raises money for refugee art classes

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

International Human Rights Law (IHRL) students have forgone the typical internship required of them to graduate, choosing instead to organize an Awareness Week in partnership with the Law Students’ Association (LSA).

But the most tangible success of Awareness Week, which ended Thursday, was raising funds for the Sawa and Townhouse Gallery’s art classes for refugee and street children.

“We hadn’t even heard about [these initiatives] before, but we’re trying to raise awareness that these sorts of classes even exist,” said Nada Elafify, one of the Week’s organizers.

“We’ve been trying to get people to donate any art supplies they might have or sign up to volunteer to teach art to these really sweet kids,” she said.

Elafify said that they sold books donated by Diwan bookstores, as well as handmade crafts, earrings and purses at the bazaar.

These were all made by girls who have taken these art classes. All the proceeds go to these art classes,” said Elafify.

The art classes had been suspended due to the unfolding Revolution and aftermath; IHRL hopes to gather enough funds and donations to get the program up and running again.

“We got a lot of contacts on our first day out. We’ve also had a lot of art students come and sign up for volunteering,” said Elafify.

She said the group’s goal is to restore these classes and increase public support for their activities. Awareness Week also included lectures and panel discussions such as “Human Rights in Egypt after the Revolution” and “Refugee Issues on the Egyptian/Libyan Border.”

A theatrical performance Going to the Neighbors’ House was organized by a theatre workshop team composed of Iraqi, Somali, and Sudanese refugees and social workers.

Documentaries were screened during the week, while a refugee bazaar was held on both the Tahrir and New Cairo campuses.