HUFFINGTON POST
11/13/2015 10:50 am ET Updated Nov 24, 2015

Syrian Children Go Behind The Lens To Show Life As Refugees

A program gave Syrian refugee children disposable cameras to help them overcome the trauma of war.

Syrian refugee children in Lebanon who have taken up photography to overcome the trauma of war and displacement are now sharing their photos with the public.

The collection of photos is the result of a year-long project launched by UNICEF and the Lebanese NGO ZAKIRA, called Lahza 2 ("Lahza" is Arabic for "moment"). The organizations gave 500 children, ages 7 to 12, their own disposable cameras and some basic training to photograph their new surroundings from the fall of 2013 to the summer of 2014. 

One image shows children jumping across a debris-filled body of water on a destroyed rubber tire. Another features a freshly built snowman.  

Some of these photos are now on display in an exhibition called "Through Their Eyes: Moments Photographed by Syrian Children." It debuted Nov. 5 in Washington's White Room gallery and opened at New York City's Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery on Thursday.

UNICEF said it hopes to use the show to highlight children's unique perspective. "The view of the world from the eyes of a child is very different from the view of the world that [adults] have," said Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

"They are not aliens, they are not migrants, they are children," she added.

Life in refugee camps can become monotonous, so the motivation behind the project is simple, event organizers say. "Every day is the same, nothing new happens," the exhibit's foreword states. "[Children] have to work, survive, help their parents pay rent. The lucky ones go to school.”

"For children who have lost so much, being given anything matters -- an assignment, something to do," Stern explained.

The project's ultimate aim was "catharsis through artistic expression," the exhibition's foreword said.

Four and a half years after the start of the war in Syria, 7.6 million children still require humanitarian assistance, Szarkowski added.

The first Lahza project, completed in 2007, documented the lives of Palestinian refugees in Lebanese camps.

Check out some moving shots from the exhibition below:

Shot by Nour, age 12,<strong> </strong>from Homs Governorate, Syria.&nbsp;<strong><br></strong> Children use rocks and a tire
UNICEF
Shot by Nour, age 12, from Homs Governorate, Syria. 
Children use rocks and a tire as stepping stones to cross a debris-filled body of water in an informal settlement in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014. 
Shot by Ahmad, age 12<strong>,&nbsp;</strong>from Raqqa Governorate, Syria.<strong><br></strong> Women and children attend a
UNICEF
Shot by Ahmad, age 12from Raqqa Governorate, Syria.
Women and children attend a wedding in an informal settlement in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Akram, age 8,&nbsp;from Aleppo, Syria.<strong><br></strong> Children and adults stand next to a snowman they've made
UNICEF
Shot by Akram, age 8, from Aleppo, Syria.
Children and adults stand next to a snowman they've made in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Gharam, age 12,&nbsp;from Homs Governorate, Syria.<strong><br></strong> A child plays on a swing in an informal settl
UNICEF
Shot by Gharam, age 12, from Homs Governorate, Syria.
A child plays on a swing in an informal settlement in the village of Delhamiyeh in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Ahmad, age 7,&nbsp;from Aleppo Governorate, Syria.<strong><br></strong> A woman and a man remove snow from the entran
UNICEF
Shot by Ahmad, age 7, from Aleppo Governorate, Syria.
A woman and a man remove snow from the entrance to their makeshift shelter in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Ghofran, age 12, from Raqqa Governorate, Syria.<strong><br></strong> A Syrian refugee woman prepares traditional flat
UNICEF
Shot by Ghofran, age 12, from Raqqa Governorate, Syria.
A Syrian refugee woman prepares traditional flatbread in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Ahmad, age 12, from Deir el-Zour, Syria.<strong><br></strong> Children sit on the ground between makeshift shelters t
UNICEF
Shot by Ahmad, age 12, from Deir el-Zour, Syria.
Children sit on the ground between makeshift shelters to practice reading and writing in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Moustafa, age 12,&nbsp;from Hama Governorate, Syria.<strong><br></strong> A young boy who is wearing neither pants no
UNICEF
Shot by Moustafa, age 12, from Hama Governorate, Syria.
A young boy who is wearing neither pants nor shoes stands on ground that is muddy from rain in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Mohamed, age 11,&nbsp;from Idlib Governorate, Syria.<strong><br></strong> Sitting atop a metal petrol canister, a boy
UNICEF
Shot by Mohamed, age 11, from Idlib Governorate, Syria.
Sitting atop a metal petrol canister, a boy plays with a toy as a barefoot child runs past in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Jasem, age 7<strong> </strong>(hometown unknown).&nbsp;<strong><br></strong> A woman and man stand with four of their
UNICEF
Shot by Jasem, age 7 (hometown unknown). 
A woman and man stand with four of their children in their makeshift shelter in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014. The shelter became damaged after a shoe in the stove caused a fire to break out. This is the photographer's family.
Shot by Riham, age 11<strong></strong>, from Homs Governorate, Syria.<strong><br></strong> Women accompanied by children fill
UNICEF
Shot by Riham, age 11, from Homs Governorate, Syria.
Women accompanied by children fill jerry cans, pails, plastic bottles and other containers at a water point in an informal settlement in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
Shot by Ghazi, age 10<strong>,&nbsp;</strong>from al-Qasir, Syria.<strong><br></strong> A group of children walking to school
UNICEF
Shot by Ghazi, age 10from al-Qasir, Syria.
A group of children walking to school wearing UNICEF backpacks in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, in 2014.
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