No matter what we do and where we go, we are always embarking on a journey of sorts but a trek, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary is a long arduous journey, especially one made on foot. Such was the fate of a young Yazidi family and their first-born son, when they fled their enclave on Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq and reached a refugee camp away from the mountain.
The family is part of the mainly Kurdish speaking peaceful minority, who practice an ancient unique, syncretic faith now targeted for ethnic cleansing by the Islamic State’s Sunni jihadists.
They reached the safety of the camp, but their trek was not over.
Their precarious safety was once again threatened when a wire caused a devastating fire inside their little house, shortly after their arrival. Eighteen month old Dilbreen sustained second and third degree burns to his face and neck. The toddler’s face was disfigured, and even though he received emergency treatment, it was clear that he needed more specialized and acute medical care to avoid the loss of one eye and enable him to eat.
Once more Dilbreen and his family embarked on a trek, but amidst the pain and horror; the new journey had tangible hope.
Through the determination and compassion of the international community (1), he arrived to Boston’s Shriners Hospital, accompanied by his father on October 2016. Since then, the doctors performed one surgery that enabled the child to drink from a bottle and brush his teeth. Several more graftings and other operations will take place over a period of a year or more, to save Dilbreen’s eye and reconstruct his face.
I created this mixed media painting after one of my clients familiar with Dilbreen’s plight, related the story and proposed that I help raise funds to offset the monumental expenses that the family and the various local hosts will have to incur. I readily agreed to offer my paintings and their healing power as an incentive for others to donate to the cause by starting a Go Fund Me campaign.
Seeing the picture of this little boy seating on his daddy’s lap and about to board the airplane to Boston, simply broke my heart. Learning about the already endured myriad of threats to his well-being, made me more determined than ever to help him and his parents to see possibilities instead of obstacles, love instead of fear and joy instead of pain.
Upon finishing the art, I realized that I had painted the images of Mount Sinjar’s craggy terrain and changing skies in Dilbreen’s trek. Amidst the panoply of feelings, he may have sensed his parents’ concerns, yet felt the security of their love. And as a toddler would, his unbridled imagination may have created pinwheels with the stars to illuminate the adventurous path placing himself as the guiding one in front.
I imagined that the pilgrims he was traveling with also trekked with a mixture of dread and hope, and as I learned more about their ancient beliefs, I realized that the copper chips in the painting, represent the heads of people moving up the path knowing their intimate connection to God. Their heads reflect the light of God’s helpers; the Seven Angels that are an important part of Yazidi belief. Each divine being is within a spoke of the large pinwheel spreading rainbows of love over the mountain.
The real trek to this distant land saved Dilbreen’s life but the difficulties were not over.
His father went back to Iraq in late October to assist his wife with the birth of their new child while Dili stayed behind, cared for by a gentle woman who speaks his language and embraced him fully.
A few weeks ago and following the birth of the new baby, the family was ready to join Dili. This time a new government in the United States hampered their ability to return to the United States to continue their son’s treatment. They would have to wait in Iraq for at least 90 days!
Today I call upon all my readers and followers to help me boost the Seven Angels power with huge amounts of love, to manifest the miracle of Dilbreen’s parents arriving in Boston quickly to allow his surgeries to continue.
In time, I also wish for them to see possibilities instead of obstacles, love instead of fear and joy instead of pain and you too can be part of the healing!
Purchase this artwork or any others by contributing to the GoFundMe campaign at whatever level you desire.
If you wish to own this special piece; it is beautifully framed and valued at $500.00 including free delivery within the continental USA. After your contribution is placed, please add in the notes that you wish to own Dilbreen’s Trek.
You will own art that promotes healing and your donation will make the long trek to this child’s healing a little less arduous and much, much brighter.
(1)-For a glimpse of Delibreen’s arrival in the United States and the people who made it possible, please go to Dilibreens Arrival
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