Beacon Gallery has the unique opportunity to meet and work with a range of artists, partners and members of the wider art community. Beacon Gallery Connections allows us to take a closer look at their personal journey, and get a better understanding of their relationship to art.

Meet the Artist: Youssef Abou Kashef

Youssef Abou Kashef is an aspiring young artist currently living in Germany.

Youssef 1

He tells his compelling story in his own words:

“My name is Youssef Abou Kashef. I’m 21 years old. I was born in Syria and lived there up until the revolution. Ever since I was 5 years old, I have loved drawing. I found that I was best able to express my feelings that way.

One reason why it has been so important for me is due to the fact that I could not study because I am deaf. Since I was not able to study art I worked on developing this talent myself, with only my father’s help and encouragement.

Youssef 2

After the Syrian revolution, my father took us out of Syria and to Turkey in 2012. Since then I have been waiting to return to my homeland. At first, I was able to live peacefully and to work on my art, but things went from bad to worse and we decided to go to Germany as refugees.

Youssef for Blog

We crossed from Turkey to Greece, where we waited for one year and two months. Since my arrival to Germany, I am in need of help. I need someone who can sponsor me to study and develop my talent. Because of my disability, I don’t know how else to sustain employment here in Germany. I am so new, and I don’t know how to navigate German life.”

Youssef needs help in order to make his dreams come true. Assistance will help him both realize his ambition, but will also give him a badly needed way to provide for himself and his family.

If you would like to help, there are a few ways to do so:

  • Youssef is available to do commissions – and will receive 100% of the profits for all commissions arranged through Beacon Gallery.  See samples of his art here


  • Donate to Leslie Meral Schick (who co-created the Lives in Limbo exposition) – you can earmark funds for Youssef, or know that there are thousands of other equally needy refugees out there who will receive your money if you don’t indicate a specific cause.


  • Help Christine O’Donnell & Leslie Meral Shick find an art school, art gallery, and community in Germany for Youssef (meaning a deaf community, and – ideally – people who speak both German and Levantine Arabic Sign Language). Youssef’s specific city in Germany is available upon request. If you have any connections in Germany and would like to help, email Beacon Gallery!





Thank you for your support!



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: