Donya Hafezi Haghani, ICRC Tracing Assistant in Tehran, Iran, is also a gifted painter. In the first series of paintings, she portrays in a powerful and personal way the hardships migrant women and children face. In the second, she explores the way these women wait and stay hopeful even in times when there might be no hope.
Donya Hafezi Haghani says about herself:
“I have been painting since I was a kid and I have always expressed my feelings through painting. I do not follow one specific style of painting and I prioritize feelings and goals over styles. All my paintings are oil paintings.
I have been working with the ICRC since December 2009 as a Tracing Assistant in Tehran. I love my job because it enables me to be in contact with refugees and migrants. Through this contact I can feel their pain and sorrow and assist them to restore family links. While working, I see migrants who have lost contact with their loved ones and want to reconnect as soon as possible. Often, female migrants are the ones who suffer the most as they are more vulnerable and can break under the financial and emotional pressure of the situation but at the same time they are caring and strong trying to keep the family together. Seeing their suffering, I have always felt the need to find a way to convey their pain and expectations to others. So I started to take pictures and draw paintings about them. I have tried to show to the audience how these women feel and tell them that no matter how difficult life gets, they keep on being strong and caring”.