A week of waking up at 6:30. A week of driving for an hour to get to the center where the workshop is held. A week of spending four hours in a steam room with 20 something kids and 5 adults. But it was so worth it. I only wish I didn’t miss the first day.
Subhanallah how things work out in life, for I found out that Noor will be in Amman through my cousin, and she invited me to help in this amazing project, one she organized with another inspiring lady called Sara all the way from Boston. Sara came all the way from Boston after planning every detail out with Noor for months. The workshop was a storytelling workshop, where kids learned through non-traditional methods how to tell a story, how to draw it out, how to work in a team and how to think outside the box. We didn’t have an black board and chalk, we didn’t have the regular teacher talking and the students listen. It was truly amazing, all thanks to Sara and Noor’s methods and collaboration.
We had sharing time, where the kids sat in a circle and went one by one, introducing themselves every day and presenting something they wanted to, like a drawing they made, a poem they wrote, a song they wanna perform. Oh, the poems they wrote were so emotional and raw I cried at one point. Bassam, a 12 year old, wrote a poem about us Syrians, about our warm hearts and good food and welcoming arms. I was mesmerized by his performance; it was one of these moments where you know for sure inshallah that this kid is going places. It was bl 3amyeh, not in proper Arabic, which made it even more moving. Bassam is truly a kid I will forever love, even though I may never see again. I talked about Muna before, with her ambition ideas, and I wasn’t surprised when I learned that she is related to Bassam. They are both hopeful, ambitious, and going places inshallah. Mashallah 3alyhom.
We built the houses as I talked about in a previous post, and that was a great idea on Sara and Noor’s behalf. It opened their minds not just to drawing and storytelling, but to mathematics and logic. “Should we make the city in a circular format with a building as the center or in a square format?.” They voted on which format they prefer. It’s all about what they wanted to do. It’s all about democracy.
Their drawings first started with the revolution flags, machine guns, rockets and armies. With time, they slowly transformed into drawings kids normally draw, like fish, flowers, a house on a field, mountains, robots, Sponge Bob, and others. This transformation was amazing to witness. Not that it’s wrong for them to think about the revolution, but as young kids it shouldn’t be the only thing they think about. We talked about life goals, about wanting to become doctors, pilots, and teachers. We took photos, we laughed, we teared up and we realized that these kids are our future and it looks like it’s going to be a bright one.