Being-Different

a different seedling

I can’t say that setting-up Meryna has not been a lifetime dream. I worked freelance for different organisations, on projects that relate to most of Meryna’s Guiding Objectives, with no ambitions to set-up an organisation of any kind. I’m not a natural leader (whatever that might mean!), coordinator or even, administrator- there’s a drama every year with my own dreaded Tax Return form, which I blame on a…

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Chew & Glue/ علج بوبي

What is my connection to Iraq now? Can British-Iraqis help shape Iraq’s future?  Chew & Glue/ علج بوبي is an event to explore our connections to Iraq, the UK and one another. Come and share your experiences and ideas in a fun, friendly, creative space and join us for live music from two UK-based Iraqi artists. DAY EVENT & ‘pitch’ SUBMISSIONS  The day event is intended for young Iraqis in the…

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IamResilience, Lebanon 2014

IamResilience is a 10-week pilot project, which has recently been completed (June- September 2014) working with women and children living in a Syrian refugee camp in South Lebanon. This is a collaboration between Meryna and The Centre for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at The American University of Beirut, Lebanon, as well as Lebanese youth group LoYAC. Addressing all the children currently living in the camp, IamR ran creative-therapeutic…

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Stories, UK 2013

Stories my mother told me (or Stories for short) me was a pilot community initiative, which invited different communities of the Iraqi diaspora in London to engage in inter-communal dialogue, with the primary aim of community support and cohesion. Six workshops implemented a developing methodological approach, combining creative art and theatre practises with Gestalt psychotherapy, encouraging participants to be present and accepting of one another’s differences during group…

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Harissa, UK 2011

A community theatre project, led by Josh and Tara, under the charity The MUJU Crew, which brings British Muslims and Jews together through a shared passion for creating art. Supported by Faith Matters and The Tricycle Theatre, Harissa devised a piece of theatre from true World War II stories and performed this at The Tricycle in 2011.  

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Basra Workshops, Iraq 2013

Under Iraqi-American charity Living Light International , Tara Jaffar Designed led transdiciplinary creative-therapeutic workshops for children from an orphanage (7-19 years) and those living on the dump-yard area in Basra (7-12 years). The objective of the workshops was to build self-confidence, instil trust within a group dynamic, and develop focus, grounding, as well as relaxation techniques for the older teenage groups. Sessions were based on group therapy process,…

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Dibbiye Mural, Lebanon 2012

Ayesha spent a month in Lebanon working with young people from Bourj el Barajneh and Nahr Bared Palestinian refugee camps to create pictures on walls at the beautiful campus at ULYP (Unite Lebanon Youth Project), Dibbiye. For many of the children that visit, it is a respite from their lives in their refugee camps as well as enrichment through creative play. The project aimed for the young people to…

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Meryna combines different art mediums, from drawing and writing to drama and music, to facilitate artistic expression, dialogue and experimentation. The creative arts can allow us to be present in-the-moment, to energetically focus on a particular task, which can help build trust for authentic dialogue, beyond a conceptual or/and intellectual debate. Games and exercises are selected depending on the specific objective of a workshop and project, be this…

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Meryna draws on the theoretical concepts of Gestalt Psychotherapy, as well as other modalities that feed into drama and art therapy, to structure workshop sessions. This practically involves developing good ‘contact’ functions- such as listening, tasting, touching, feeling, expressing curiosities and thoughts- with a focus on an in-the-moment dialogic process. As humanistic practises, for example, Gestalt therapy, there is an assumed belief in innate human health and creativity,…

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Interculturism relates to interactions involving, or representing, people of different cultures.  So how we personally perceive and respond to such perceived difference is at the heart of intercultural work. Differences can include interacting with people of different religious, ethnic or national heritage, as well as those of multi-heritage. We include those belonging to different social groups, professional or sexual orientation. Meryna invites participants to define themselves according to whatever…