Come to your senses: a sense of self

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 arts, therapy and/ or education, and slowly carving out Meryna specific time. I’ve had…

Arab Community Event Flyer - Integration & Social Media

Arab Community Integration Event

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 Social Media is Changing the Arab Community Integration in London and the UK…

Tarek's second visit saw the parents and children take more responsibility over their appearances, and how they might like to be perceived.

Wrapping-up on-the-ground

Officially, fieldwork for IamResilience Lebanon is now over, and I am preparing to head back to the UK in a few days. Creative-therapeutic workshops finished over a week ago, and last week saw four main activities at the camp, which intended to help wrap-up to prepare the community (and the project team) for the project’s end. Wall Mural A collaborative effort between Naked Wagon, LoYAC Lebanon, CCECS and Meryna…

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Arab Spring- English Autumn

Arab Spring-English Autumn is a creative and therapeutic exploration of how young people of Middle Eastern origin identify with their countries of origin and with the concept of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’. Drama, art and movement therapy approaches will be used to facilitate expression and sharing within the group. There will be a particular focus on media portrayals of Middle Easterners and how this may affect an individual and…

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Support Network

And so I fell off the blogpost wagon, but with one week left of IamResilience Lebanon, I want to share a few words, particularly on the topic of support. Volunteers I gave a short and informal presentation about IamR’s current work to Lebanese youth organisation LoYAC, after a friend, Suad Amin-Jarrar, put me in touch to potentially invite more volunteers to help in the second cycle of works….

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Because you’re worth it!

Well into our second work cycle of IamResilience Lebanon with creative-therapeutic workshops starting again tomorrow, taking onboard participant feedback (children and parents alike) to build on the work we have already began. This last week has been preparatory bit and pieces, from fishing more volunteers out (we’ve two and potentially more coming onboard), finding ways to share this pilot project’s experiences with others (talking presentations, publications and training) as well as meeting…

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Unleashing the End!

The end of the first work cycle of IamResilience- five weeks from 26th May to 27th June- and due to begin again from Monday 28th July for another five weeks. There’s so much to say, and yet, as I sit surrounded by my case notes and archive of photographs and film recordings, I can only feel the tiredness piled from weeks of Go-go-go! This blogpost isn’t an overview of…

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A dance

This week has seen the IamResience project work settle into mini-routines and rituals, as workers and camp residents alike have grown more accustomed to one another, and we continue to find ways of working with one another. The children know which sessions they belong to, gathering into groups of three with relative ease: the two original groups of 7-9 and 10-12 years, and we have also incorporated the…

Baby steps…

Last week saw our first set of workshops for IamResilience, and the word I opened by first day’s notes with was: chaos! The main issue we have contended with at the camp has been the lack of a sufficient space to run the creative-therapeutic sessions in. We are working on the second floor of a semi-built house, in a ‘room’ with no doors or windows. On two occasions,…

Photo by Hussein Soueidan

Two-way Resilience

Since my arrival into Beirut, I have had two site visits to the Syrian refugee camp in the south (between Saida and Sur/ Tire and Sidon) and some major ‘tweaks’ to the current project plan. Feeling positive and excited to start workshops this Monday, though with bouts of on-the-ground reality, I’ve had moments of doubt. Recalling historian Lesley Hazelton‘s TED talk, on the doubt essential to faith (be it…