Children of Syria show their Happy side in music video
The children of Syria have suffered in almost unimaginable ways. Bombed out of their homes, their families fleeing to neighbouring countries, thousands of them killed and maimed.
The conflict, now in its fourth year, has seen millions of children uprooted from their old lives. It is too easy for the children of Syria to become mere statistics.
Two Syrian-Americans decided to help humanise their plight by tapping into the worldwide success of the Pharrell Williams song Happy and its many tribute videos from all parts of the globe.
Hazami Barmada and Omar Al-Chaar travelled to Jordan to make the #RestoreHappy video, which shows Syrian refugee children dancing joyously to the hit song.
The pair raised more than $5000 to buy toys, games, books and crayons, which they took to children in the huge Zaatari refugee camp near the Syria-Jordan border. It was there they made their video.
Hazami said: “The more you listen to the lyrics of Happy, the words resonate with the state of many of Syria’s children.
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof – it’s ironic as most of these children live in temporary tents and indeed rooms without a roof.”
He added: “The goal of #restorehappy is to change the narrative about Syrian children that is currently tainted by violence, fear and uncertainty, to one where we do not politicise the children but look for ways to begin supporting their development and education.
“Music unites us all. I challenge you to watch the video without smiling. How can you not?”
Omar said: “We want to show people that children are children. It is our hope that with music we can raise consciousness about what’s happening in Syria and support the children in need. Every bit of effort counts.”
#RestoreHappy is one of several projects produced by the American organisation Beats, Rhymes and Relief to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Later this year it will host One World Syria – a celebrity benefit concert for Syria in Washington, DC.