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Syrian-born artist tries to provide comfort to displaced war refugees through illustrations

  • Syrian Illustrator-1.jpg

    In this May 12, 2014 photo, Lina Safar displays some of her illustrations at her home in Tampa, Fla. Safar, originally from Syria, is helping the displaced children of her home country with her art. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)The Associated Press

  • Syrian Illustrator-2.jpg

    In this May 12, 2014 photo, Lina Safar displays some of her illustrations at her home in Tampa, Fla. Safar, originally from Syria, is helping the displaced children of her home country with her art. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)The Associated Press

  • Syrian Illustrator-3.jpg

    In this May 12, 2014 photo, Lina Safar holds up a photo of her father, Dr. Mustafa Safar, at her home in Tampa, Fla. Safar’s father, a medical doctor, was killed while helping the wounded in their homeland of Syria. Now, there’s no way of telling when Safar will return for a visit, if ever. The 31-year-old children’s book illustrator now remembers her country through her own paintings and by helping Syria’s displaced children. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)The Associated Press

A Tampa woman who is originally from Syria is helping the displaced children of her home country with her art.

Children's book illustrator Lina Safar moved to Tampa in 2012.

Safar's father was a doctor who was killed during the Syrian civil war. Her mother and brother were displaced and now live in Tampa.

Safar recently illustrated a series of workbooks for Syrian refugee children as part of a program sponsored by Mercy Corps, a humanitarian aid organization.

Titled "My Story," the project is a way for displaced children to write and draw their histories, feelings and memories.

According to UNICEF, some 5.5 million Syrian children have been affected by the war, with more than 1 million children living as refugees in neighboring countries.

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