Afghan boy shows his art in Serbia to help another in need

Known as 'Little Picasso,' Farhad Nouri is a migrant from Afghanistan with remarkable artistic talent. He wants to show how important it is to be good to other people.

Marko Drobnjakovic/AP
Farhad Nouri observes his drawings on display at an art exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia, on Aug. 9, 2017. Farhad, a migrant boy from Afghanistan, has been nicknamed 'Little Picasso' for artistic talent, and is using his first ever exhibition to help another little boy in need, a Serbian boy recovering from surgery.

A 10-year-old migrant from Afghanistan, who has been nicknamed "Little Picasso," is using his first ever exhibition to help another boy in need.

Farhad Nouri's drawings and photographs were put on display Wednesday in what was also his charity event to raise money for a Serbian boy recovering from surgery.

"Thank you all for coming here!" Farhad told dozens of visitors as he opened the exhibition organized with the help of aid groups and supported by Serbia's government.

Among Farhad's works exhibited in the garden of a Belgrade cafe were his drawings of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Harry Potter.

Farhad's photographs mostly include scenes from Belgrade, where the boy and his family have been living for the past eight months in a crowded migrant camp.

"I am very happy and excited," he said. "This is the first time something like this is happening to me."

The family is among several thousand migrants who have been stranded in Serbia after fleeing war and poverty in their homelands. They have been unable to move on toward the European Union, which has sought to curb the influx of migrants.

Ivan Miskovic, from the Serbian government's refugee agency, said at the opening of Farhad's exhibition that children account for about 40 percent of 4,500 migrants currently in Serbia.

"They are the most vulnerable among the migrant population," Mr. Miskovic said.

Farhad and his family left their home in Afghanistan two years ago. Upon his arrival in Serbia, Farhad joined art classes organized by aid groups and his talent soon became a sensation, turning him into a local celebrity.

"His talent is truly exceptional," Miskovic said.

Anita Milev, from the Refugee Foundation group, said the exhibition was meant "to show the retrospective of what he [Farhad] has achieved during the classes."

Ms. Milev explained that the charity money for the recovering Serbian boy is being raised through donations and by selling Farhad's photographs and copies of his drawings.

Farhad, who is dreaming of one day moving to Switzerland to become a painter and a photographer, said he wanted to help someone else as well to show how important it is to be good to other people.

Wearing a straw hat and sunglasses on a hot summer afternoon, Farhad carried out an old guitar that served as a box for donations for the young Serbian.

"We all need kindness," he said.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.