Reposting something I wrote for my personal blog Starakin as Meryna's essence is touched on when talking about tuning into and developing a stronger sense of self and belonging, particularly in relation to migrant communities in London. The Meryna team, including myself, are all busy doing exciting (and not so exciting) life stuff, somehow related to communities, the... Read More
what we do
Meryna encourages personal and social integration of UK Middle Eastern diaspora. Meryna fosters inclusive, respectful and authentic dialogue related to themes of identity and belonging. We work with individuals and communities who have experienced war and displacement, including their children and their children's children. We want to address traumas of war, to heal and to stop the cycle of violence from being passed on from generation to generation.
Meryna comes from the Arabic word muroona/ مرونة meaning ‘malleable’ or flexible, referring to the capacity of metals to melt, reshape and transform. We see this as a metaphor for people who have experienced adversity and who have the capacity to transform themselves. We interpret Meryna/ مرنة to mean ‘resilient’, in recognition of the majority's response to trauma associated to war and displacement. Resilience can be personal/ psychotherapeutic or social, impacting how a community responds to unforeseen changes and adversity.
Meryna’s creative approach utilises the arts, from writing and drawing to music and drama, to create enjoyable experiences and connect individuals on a practical, personal, in-the-moment way. We then chat about this experience, possibly relate responses to our life as a whole (past, present and future). Working in this way, we can find more to connect than divide us. The universal human experience. To ensure our participants are kept safe, Meryna draws on therapy as a way to structure our working method. Though we aim for this process to be therapeutic and ultimately healing, Meryna is not about psychological treatment, and we work with participants not patients. This is the use of arts and therapy towards community building, working towards integration in both a personal and social level.
To support Meryna, you can either contribute financially, which would go towards workshop space hire, material and administrative costs. Or simply contact us to learn more about what we do and possibly volunteer your time! We need help with organisational development, fundraising and publicity, as well as practitioners who are passionate about creating positive social impact.
I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road… all tongues and all prayers belong to me. But I belong to none of them. I suggested the above quote, from Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf, to add to an event I'll be taking part of next weekend: How... Read More