Addressing Child Marriage Through Art

child marriage art

Salam is a 14 year old child.

During her summer vacation, Salam’s father asks her “What do you want to become when you grow up?” and Salam responds “I want to become a doctor”. From that point on, Salam’s father and whole family support her to achieve her dream and have a happy life full of achievements.

In another scenario, a very common one in the Arab world, Salam is shocked after her summer vacation to realize that she will no longer attend school. Then Salam finds herself one day in the saloon getting prepared to marry the strange old man that used to visit their house over the past couple of weeks.

During the past month, we told the two different stories to amazing girls, change makers, in Za’atari Refugee Camp and from governorates across Jordan as part of our workshops on the topic of child marriage, in collaboration with Save the Children international and Jordan.

The participants created impactful artwork to express their stand on this topic. Artwork that we used to design a booklet to raise awareness globally on the topic of child marriage. Artwork that was used in-front of decision makers on the 28th of November to change laws and take action on this issue.

This is an example on how we use art and story-telling to make change.

child marriage art

During these workshops something specific stuck in my mind. Two sisters from Za’atari Refugee camp. One who wants to become a lawyer and the other a journalist. Two natural born leaders, who rap, yes they rap in Arabic! to use their voice to make change.

These two girls added the following lyrics on the artwork that they created during the workshop:

لك شو هاد يلي عم يصير
كل يوم عم اتمنى كون حاكم كبير
و امنع كل طرق الزواج
معليش ما بدي تصوير
ختيار بأخر عمره، راح يوخد زهرة ياسمين
بالله عاجبكم يلي عم يصير
كافي حرمتوها الطفولة و حرمتوها تعيش متل ما هي بدها
كفاكن جهل لعلم رامي حالو
بس بدنا مين يفهم أنو الطفل ما رح يربي طفل

What is this that is happening!
Everyday I wish that I am a big leader to end all ways of marriage.
No photos please!
An old Man at the end of his age, will take a Jasmine Flower
Do you like what is happening?!
It is enough that you took her childhood away
You took her right to live as she wants
Enough ignorance in a world full of knowledge
We only want people to understand
That a child can’t raise a child!

child marriage art