Haawiyat is a new Syrian comic book aimed at children affected by the conflict, by emigration, and the stresses and traumas that accompany it.
The comic will be a brief 8 pages with a colour cover and published in Arabic. Creators include Rob Croonenborghs, Jim Shaw, Joseba Morales, Mexi Gremillion and Ursula Murray Husted, with lettering from Taylor Hastings and Farrah Hamza translating.
It will be filled with well-known Syrian folktales, The King’s Daughter’s Earring, The Miller and The Two Djinn, and The Story Of The Five Cakes, aimed to bring them a taste of home, and will be something they can own for themselves.
Project leader David Lewis is quoted as saying “If I was a doctor, I would pick up my medic bag. If I was a soldier, I would pick up a weapon. I am a professor, a comic writer, and a father. I am helping where I can, how I can. Children are scared, disoriented, and feeling lost. We have to give them hope” and that “this is phase one of a grand plan. We want to reach more kids in more places with phase two.” Each tale was specifically chosen to be relevant to current issues children are most likely dealing with but without triggering any recent experiences of trauma.
The comic will be distributed initially in Northern Syria and Turkey in February. Creators interested in participating in phase two can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.