Sara Khayat is a feminist graphic designer, illustrator, and visual artist from Syria. She was born in Damascus and studied graphic design at the International University for Science and Technology (IUST Syria), located in the city of Ghabagheb.
Khayat’s work is focused on women’s, LGBTQI+, and refugee rights, using illustration and graphic design to support a wide range of social justice causes, including challenging gender stereotypes and gender-based violence. Sara has worked for and with a variety of organisations across Turkey, Lebanon, and Europe. Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Khayat has worked on documenting human rights violations by all parties involved in the conflict and the oral histories of women detained by the Syrian regime.
Sara Khayat has been involved in campaigns and advocacy missions through organisations such as Right to Remain UK, and Liberated T, sponsored by the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, amongst others. As a freelance designer, Sara has worked with several civil society organisations, including the Syrian Child Protection Network, The A Project, and Dammeh, focused on the rights of children, women, and LGBTQI+ people. K
More recently, Khayat has been involved in designing visual materials for books and research for organisations which document gender-based violence in Syria. Her work has featured in various exhibitions and publications, including during the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva (2019), in the ’Dream Sequences’ exhibition in Amsterdam (2019), and in the October 2020 issue of Eko magazine.
Due to the focus and the nature of her work, Sara Khayat was forced to flee Syria for Turkey in 2015. At the beginning of 2023, Sara arrived in Sweden and became the ICORN resident in Gävle City of Refuge. She is the third ICORN resident Gävle has hosted.
In Sweden, Sara continues her work, including an art project exploring the connection between the human body and its surrounding, and plans to collaborate with local artists working on mutual topics of interest.
You can see more of Sara Khayat’s art on Instagram, Behance, and her portfolio. You read more about her and her work on Syria Untold, The Syrian Women’s Political Movement, and Jeem.