“The Book of Beirut” is a daring and unique artistic initiative initiated by Roula Youssef, who graduated in Fine and Applied Arts, and is the founder of the children’s publishing house “Yzness”.
“The Book of Beirut” is an artistic production based on Art workshops that offer the children of Beirut a space to express their feelings, their emotions, their feelings and their ideas on the explosion that happened on August 4, in complete freedom and without inhibitions.
The book will be a collection of 180 “postcards” drawn by children from Beirut. These "postcards" are a message from the heart sent by the children of Beirut to the world – each signed with the child's fingerprint and accompanied by a note.
To achieve this book and collect the drawings, the children of Beirut are invited to participate in weekly Art workshops, each lasting 3 hours.
During these workshops, children are guided and supported by child psychologists, and through numerous proposed artistic activities, can express their emotions and feelings other than by just words. It’s about letting them express through Art.
A pilot project was held on Saturday October 10, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the garden of the Sursock Palace in Ashrafieh.
Thirty children took part in the event, accompanied by their parents. They had the opportunity to meet the psychologists, present for the event, to ask questions and discuss their fears and concerns.
Roula Youssef insists on the importance of art and drawing in the lives of all children, not just those affected by trauma or with a delicate mental state. She explains that Art helps develop the emotional intelligence and thus helps children to express themselves freely and without restraint.
According to Roula Youssef, one of the primary objectives of the "Book of Beirut" is to safeguard the innocence and creativity of children, notions that tend to disappear today due to several factors related to the world we live in, and not only in Lebanon but throughout the world.
The book is also a message of hope. Once again, Lebanon will be reborn and children have an important role to play. They are the present and the future of the country, and through their positive energy, their love, and their innocence, their contribution is essential to the sustainability of the country.
Roula Youssef adds: “Through Art and Creativity, any child can express an experience, an idea, a reality that he or she lived - as in this case the explosion of last August 4 in Beirut. Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression and communication, which breaks free from the limitations of oral language."
"The Book of Beirut" will be published at the end of the year and will be available for sale in Lebanon and abroad.
Profit from sales will help parents to ensure the education of their children and to provide, where necessary, psychological support to children affected by the explosion.
A part of these profits will also go to the financing of artistic workshops, intended for children, which will be free, and this on all Lebanese territory.
The team working on the "Book of Beirut" project is preparing the workshops for the coming weeks.
Parents who wish to register their children can contact the team through the project's Instagram page @bookofbeirut or by WhatsApp at 78 942 777.