The Akre Syrian Refugee Camp in northern Iraq used to be a Saddam Hussein prison and intelligence center. And for a long time, it looked and felt that way. Morale among the nearly 1,300 Syrians was low. They fled for their lives from the Islamic State only to wind up in jail.
Then, in April 2014, an NGO brought paint.
The Rise Foundation, which supports the thousands of refugees in Kurdistan, started the Castle Art Project to try to liven up the dreary walls and give the children something to do. Now, every Friday, a place once known for torture becomes a canvas.