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 Children who are refugees from Syria play football in the courtyard of a former Saddam-era prison - now their home - in northern Iraqi-Kurdistan. The notorious prison once held political dissidents of Saddam Hussein's regime. It now is Akre Syrian Refugee Camp, holding around 240 Syrian families who fled ISIS.

Children who are refugees from Syria play football in the courtyard of a former Saddam-era prison - now their home - in northern Iraqi-Kurdistan. The notorious prison once held political dissidents of Saddam Hussein's regime. It now is Akre Syrian Refugee Camp, holding around 240 Syrian families who fled ISIS.

 Seeing an opportunity to improve the bleak, cheerless interior walls and provide arts education to the children who are now refugees, local NGO, RISE Foundation started Castle Art in April 2014.

Seeing an opportunity to improve the bleak, cheerless interior walls and provide arts education to the children who are now refugees, local NGO, RISE Foundation started Castle Art in April 2014.

 The program has given children in the camp an outlet of expression as well as an opportunity to meet other children in the camp.

The program has given children in the camp an outlet of expression as well as an opportunity to meet other children in the camp.

 The coordinators and volunteers of Castle Art use international street artists as inspiration for the children, including street artist Thierry Noir, which the children replicated in the stairwell of Akre Camp.

The coordinators and volunteers of Castle Art use international street artists as inspiration for the children, including street artist Thierry Noir, which the children replicated in the stairwell of Akre Camp.

 Hanan Mohamad-Nazeer puts on her painting attire early in the morning on Fridays in anticipation of the Castle Art’s team arrival.

Hanan Mohamad-Nazeer puts on her painting attire early in the morning on Fridays in anticipation of the Castle Art’s team arrival.

 Soleen Smael, 14, is from Qamishli, Syria. She arrived in the camp a year ago. “In the beginning, I didn’t know anyone from the project,” she says, “but we’ve grown to into a family.”

Soleen Smael, 14, is from Qamishli, Syria. She arrived in the camp a year ago. “In the beginning, I didn’t know anyone from the project,” she says, “but we’ve grown to into a family.”

 Socialising and building relationships with other residents of the camp is one of the focuses of Castle Art, which helps the children gain a greater sense of community in their temporary residence.

Socialising and building relationships with other residents of the camp is one of the focuses of Castle Art, which helps the children gain a greater sense of community in their temporary residence.

 Children in the program hand out paint around a temporary tent to protect them from the hot sun. The program’s coordinators and a team of volunteers supervise the children that sign-up to help on a weekly basis, but the children themselves carry out a majority of the process.

Children in the program hand out paint around a temporary tent to protect them from the hot sun. The program’s coordinators and a team of volunteers supervise the children that sign-up to help on a weekly basis, but the children themselves carry out a majority of the process.

 A mural replication of a Keith Herring painting. Over the year the program has been running, the group has begun to work collectively on one design at a time, working together to achieve a cohesive idea or replicate particular artists.

A mural replication of a Keith Herring painting. Over the year the program has been running, the group has begun to work collectively on one design at a time, working together to achieve a cohesive idea or replicate particular artists.

 Naya looks up at her team’s progress. They are painting large flowers coming out of the ground on the newest mural the team is bringing to life.

Naya looks up at her team’s progress. They are painting large flowers coming out of the ground on the newest mural the team is bringing to life.

 Children in the camp watch Castle Art at work curiously from a balcony of the second floor of Akre refugee camp.

Children in the camp watch Castle Art at work curiously from a balcony of the second floor of Akre refugee camp.

 According to her father, Newruz Aosamn started drawing even before she could speak. She says she wishes other artists would come to the camp to teach her how to paint like them. She hopes to be an artist when she grows up.

According to her father, Newruz Aosamn started drawing even before she could speak. She says she wishes other artists would come to the camp to teach her how to paint like them. She hopes to be an artist when she grows up.

DiCenzo-Kurdistan-CastleArts-Photo-160615-13.jpg
 A child stands in front of one of Newruz’s murals.

A child stands in front of one of Newruz’s murals.

 Valeria Bembry, one of the project coordinators, walks up a stairwell the children decorated with a Stick-style street art mural.

Valeria Bembry, one of the project coordinators, walks up a stairwell the children decorated with a Stick-style street art mural.

 With no green spaces in the camp itself, the children have painted nature scenes and animals on the old walls.

With no green spaces in the camp itself, the children have painted nature scenes and animals on the old walls.

 Nisreen Abdul-Kareem smiles brightly after storing away the paint used by the team for the day.

Nisreen Abdul-Kareem smiles brightly after storing away the paint used by the team for the day.

 Valeria points out some of the walls and columns the team collaborated on at the entrance of Akre Camp.

Valeria points out some of the walls and columns the team collaborated on at the entrance of Akre Camp.

 A crack on the wall of the entrance to camp was painted black and exaggerated in size by the Castle Art team. Two hands depict a person breaking through the wall to get to the green scenery of the valleys and forests, which represent the lush landscape of Syria.

A crack on the wall of the entrance to camp was painted black and exaggerated in size by the Castle Art team. Two hands depict a person breaking through the wall to get to the green scenery of the valleys and forests, which represent the lush landscape of Syria.

 Mural inspired by Roy Lichtenstein.

Mural inspired by Roy Lichtenstein.

 Children in the camp hang out on one of the stairwells previously painted by the Castle Art team.

Children in the camp hang out on one of the stairwells previously painted by the Castle Art team.

 Lucy Petheram, Rise Foundation Project Coordinator, takes a break to reflect on the progress the children made on their mural Friday, June 5.

Lucy Petheram, Rise Foundation Project Coordinator, takes a break to reflect on the progress the children made on their mural Friday, June 5.

Children who are refugees from Syria play football in the courtyard of a former Saddam-era prison - now their home - in northern Iraqi-Kurdistan. The notorious prison once held political dissidents of Saddam Hussein's regime. It now is Akre Syrian Refugee Camp, holding around 240 Syrian families who fled ISIS.

Seeing an opportunity to improve the bleak, cheerless interior walls and provide arts education to the children who are now refugees, local NGO, RISE Foundation started Castle Art in April 2014.

The program has given children in the camp an outlet of expression as well as an opportunity to meet other children in the camp.

The coordinators and volunteers of Castle Art use international street artists as inspiration for the children, including street artist Thierry Noir, which the children replicated in the stairwell of Akre Camp.

Hanan Mohamad-Nazeer puts on her painting attire early in the morning on Fridays in anticipation of the Castle Art’s team arrival.

Soleen Smael, 14, is from Qamishli, Syria. She arrived in the camp a year ago. “In the beginning, I didn’t know anyone from the project,” she says, “but we’ve grown to into a family.”

Socialising and building relationships with other residents of the camp is one of the focuses of Castle Art, which helps the children gain a greater sense of community in their temporary residence.

Children in the program hand out paint around a temporary tent to protect them from the hot sun. The program’s coordinators and a team of volunteers supervise the children that sign-up to help on a weekly basis, but the children themselves carry out a majority of the process.

A mural replication of a Keith Herring painting. Over the year the program has been running, the group has begun to work collectively on one design at a time, working together to achieve a cohesive idea or replicate particular artists.

Naya looks up at her team’s progress. They are painting large flowers coming out of the ground on the newest mural the team is bringing to life.

Children in the camp watch Castle Art at work curiously from a balcony of the second floor of Akre refugee camp.

According to her father, Newruz Aosamn started drawing even before she could speak. She says she wishes other artists would come to the camp to teach her how to paint like them. She hopes to be an artist when she grows up.

A child stands in front of one of Newruz’s murals.

Valeria Bembry, one of the project coordinators, walks up a stairwell the children decorated with a Stick-style street art mural.

With no green spaces in the camp itself, the children have painted nature scenes and animals on the old walls.

Nisreen Abdul-Kareem smiles brightly after storing away the paint used by the team for the day.

Valeria points out some of the walls and columns the team collaborated on at the entrance of Akre Camp.

A crack on the wall of the entrance to camp was painted black and exaggerated in size by the Castle Art team. Two hands depict a person breaking through the wall to get to the green scenery of the valleys and forests, which represent the lush landscape of Syria.

Mural inspired by Roy Lichtenstein.

Children in the camp hang out on one of the stairwells previously painted by the Castle Art team.

Lucy Petheram, Rise Foundation Project Coordinator, takes a break to reflect on the progress the children made on their mural Friday, June 5.

 Children who are refugees from Syria play football in the courtyard of a former Saddam-era prison - now their home - in northern Iraqi-Kurdistan. The notorious prison once held political dissidents of Saddam Hussein's regime. It now is Akre Syrian Refugee Camp, holding around 240 Syrian families who fled ISIS.
 Seeing an opportunity to improve the bleak, cheerless interior walls and provide arts education to the children who are now refugees, local NGO, RISE Foundation started Castle Art in April 2014.
 The program has given children in the camp an outlet of expression as well as an opportunity to meet other children in the camp.
 The coordinators and volunteers of Castle Art use international street artists as inspiration for the children, including street artist Thierry Noir, which the children replicated in the stairwell of Akre Camp.
 Hanan Mohamad-Nazeer puts on her painting attire early in the morning on Fridays in anticipation of the Castle Art’s team arrival.
 Soleen Smael, 14, is from Qamishli, Syria. She arrived in the camp a year ago. “In the beginning, I didn’t know anyone from the project,” she says, “but we’ve grown to into a family.”
 Socialising and building relationships with other residents of the camp is one of the focuses of Castle Art, which helps the children gain a greater sense of community in their temporary residence.
 Children in the program hand out paint around a temporary tent to protect them from the hot sun. The program’s coordinators and a team of volunteers supervise the children that sign-up to help on a weekly basis, but the children themselves carry out a majority of the process.
 A mural replication of a Keith Herring painting. Over the year the program has been running, the group has begun to work collectively on one design at a time, working together to achieve a cohesive idea or replicate particular artists.
 Naya looks up at her team’s progress. They are painting large flowers coming out of the ground on the newest mural the team is bringing to life.
 Children in the camp watch Castle Art at work curiously from a balcony of the second floor of Akre refugee camp.
 According to her father, Newruz Aosamn started drawing even before she could speak. She says she wishes other artists would come to the camp to teach her how to paint like them. She hopes to be an artist when she grows up.
DiCenzo-Kurdistan-CastleArts-Photo-160615-13.jpg
 A child stands in front of one of Newruz’s murals.
 Valeria Bembry, one of the project coordinators, walks up a stairwell the children decorated with a Stick-style street art mural.
 With no green spaces in the camp itself, the children have painted nature scenes and animals on the old walls.
 Nisreen Abdul-Kareem smiles brightly after storing away the paint used by the team for the day.
 Valeria points out some of the walls and columns the team collaborated on at the entrance of Akre Camp.
 A crack on the wall of the entrance to camp was painted black and exaggerated in size by the Castle Art team. Two hands depict a person breaking through the wall to get to the green scenery of the valleys and forests, which represent the lush landscape of Syria.
 Mural inspired by Roy Lichtenstein.
 Children in the camp hang out on one of the stairwells previously painted by the Castle Art team.
 Lucy Petheram, Rise Foundation Project Coordinator, takes a break to reflect on the progress the children made on their mural Friday, June 5.