caged children : oil & pencil on paper.

Artwork by Areej Khan.


As we are locked in shelters , we look at the outside as restraints , confining us against complete freedom. The cage rattles , as politicians debate on whether schools should shut down or simply , whether we should wear masks. The hands of little children in awe of nature grasp the cages , eager for one last look. 

Yet , this is not the new normal , not for the thousands of families locked in cages and treated worse than stray animals. They’ve been kept in lockdown for months ; where was the social uproar then ? We’ve let them down. Innocent children and women are assaulted by staff members at ICE detention camps and large families are kept in murky cages. 

Amidst the chaos and doubts we call lockdown , there’s one thing that remains unchanged. Unity. Unity of humankind as we take upon the roles of empathizing and protecting our own. Unity that lays embedded in our strive for physical freedom. Unity that defines humans for who we are. We need that unity to fuel our anger towards these corrupt facilities. We need to rattle the cages. 


About the artist:

Areej Khan

Areej Khan is the Asian Hispanic Empowerment Organization country representative of both Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. Based in Dubai, she is passionate about seeking social justice for all and a way she expresses her passion is through art. Areej uses oil and pencil on paper to create an image symbolizing the chaos and sorrow of current events - immigrant children locked in cages.