TYNEMOUTH MP Alan Campbell has become patron of an arts trust linking North Tyneside with a refugee camp in Beirut.
The Shatila Theatre Trust, founded by Cullercoats writer Peter Mortimer, organises exchanges between artists in the north east and the young people of the Shatila camp in Beirut.
Mr Campbell said: “I am pleased to have been asked to become a patron.
“To date, the Shatila project has successfully shown the creative potential of the children of the camp and will hopefully provide new opportunities for them.
“Tynemouth extended a warm welcome to the children of Shatila in 2011 and I trust that this year will be no different.”
Peter spent two months living at the Shatila camp in 2008 and wrote a play with the local children called Croak, The King And A Change In The Weather, which has since been performed in the UK and Beirut.
He said: “The Shatila Project is proud to have Alan Campbell as our patron.
“As our MP, he has always had an active hands-on approach to matters both inside and outside the constituency and I’m sure he’ll be an asset in many ways to the creative work we do with the Palestinian refugees.”
North Tyneside artists Faye Oliver and Anthony Downie will visit Shatila in June to create colourful designs for the normally drab concrete walls of the refugee camp as part of the Shatila Art Project.
Plans are also being drawn up for youngsters from Palestinian to return the favour by coming over to the borough in July to create some artwork of their own.