An artist with a history of international activism has been chosen for the Ward Medal, one of Williston Northampton School’s most prestigious alumni awards.
Kinda Hibrawi ’96 will be honored on May 9, 2014 at a special assembly in the Phillips Stevens Chapel. The assembly will be conducted in an interview style with Williston faculty member Peter Gunn.
The Ward Medal is given every year in honor of Headmaster Robert Ward, who served at Williston from 1972 to 1979, and recognizes outstanding service to humanity.
Ms. Hibrawi, who is of Syrian descent, has worked extensively with refugees on the Syrian-Turkish border. She is the co-founder and executive director of the Zeitouna, a Karam Foundation project that strives to bring education and art to refugee children.
During an interview in January about her work, Ms. Hibrawi explained that she was inspired by an HBO documentary to create therapeutic art workshops for Syrian children.
“I wanted to bring creativity to these kids while documenting what these refugees look like and what they were going through,” she said. “It’s an interesting story where, out of despair, comes hope.”
Ms. Hibrawi, who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, grew up between Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, and the United States. In a statement she described her artwork as “reflecting the richness of the Middle East coupled with Western diversity.”
She has been named an “Artistic Ambassador” by Arab News, a Rio+20 global thinker and influencer by the United Nations, and was selected by the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies Program to showcase her work for the United States Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Kurt Volker. Her work has also been acquired for the permanent collection at the Arab American National Museum in Detroit, Michigan.
Ms. Hibrawi currently sits on the Board of the Tiyya Foundation, a nonprofit based in California that provides holistic programming and basic necessities for refugees and displaced American families. She created and developed for the Foundation Art Speaks, a hands-on monthly art program at the Center For Living Peace for refugee children from around the world.
Following the assembly on May 9, Ms. Hibrawi will visit classes to speak about her art and her work with Camp Zeitouna. Read more about Ms. Hibrawi on her website: www.kindahibrawi.com