The Duma Drawings

Bebo’s life was cut short by war, but her voice will continue to be heard

In the dark month of January 2018, intensifying fighting in Syria reportedly killed 59 children. In early February, dozens of children have reportedly been killed and many more injured by extreme and intensifying violence in several parts of Syria – and the violence shows no sign of abating.

All of those children had dreams and talents that they will never fully realize, like aspiring artist “Bebo,” a 14-year-old girl killed in January in East Ghouta. Her grieving family shared her drawings with UNICEF. They show the extent of her artistic skill and the suffering of growing up amid war and destruction.

Children like “Bebo” have paid the highest price for wars that they have absolutely no responsibility for. Their lives have been cut short, their families forever broken in grief.

Children may have been silenced. But their voices will continue to be heard. Their message is our message:

  • The protection of children is paramount under all circumstances, in line with the law of war.
  • Breaching that law is a most heinous crime and jeopardizes the future – and not just for children.


Note: Actual names were changed to protect identities. “Bebo” is the artist’s name. She was 14 years old when she was killed.


Hand-drawn view from behind of a female holding a hand mirror.

Drawing made by “Bebo” representing a woman looking in a mirror.



Hand-drawing of damaged buildings

Drawing made by “Bebo” representing an old neighbourhood of Damascus.



Hand drawn frontal close-up view of a young girl wearing a star-shaped pendant and with atear drop forming under her left eye

Drawing made by “Bebo” representing a young girl with a tear.



Pencil illustration depicting a chair and a light bulb on a wooden floor inside of a haert-shaped box labeled: "You Live There".

Drawing made by “Bebo” representing a human heart around a chair and a light bulb in a prison cell.



Hand drawing of a womans eye with her henna painted fingertips in the foreground.

Drawing made by “Bebo” representing a woman’s eye with traditional kohl around her eyes and henna on the tip of her fingers.

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