Chapter 7 – Part 1: Conclusion of the Syrian Refugee Art Therapy Project in Jordan!
The only thing better than “I have a dream” is “We have a dream”! As a team, how big can we dream? Well… The results within a time-span of five weeks in Jordan are mind blowing! Hundreds of Syrian Refugee and Jordanian youth engaged in multiple forms of creative healing and expression, 7 original songs were written and sung, a couple thousand drawings and paintings were created, 3 canvas murals of 12 x 5 feet each that serve as an intercultural dialogue, 7 wall murals covering more than 4,300 square feet were painted, 27 short films have been made with another 97 projected, over 40,000 photographs were taken by the youth and countless friendships were built; that’s how big!
Everyone can be the hero of our own story. Heroes are far from immune to falling; the Heroes are those who find themselves in the belly of the whale, rise up and actively choose to transform “curses” and hardships into blessings and opportunities. Dreams attract dreams. “We have a dream.” We are not alone in this journey and as we open our minds and hearts, we discover that like souls have been walking beside us all along! The Syrian Refugee Creative Therapy Project is a beautiful example of just this, composed of members from Voices of the Children, Chime In: The Change Is Me and the Colors of Love and together we shared one dream. The results speak for themselves! What is your dream?
If you are not happy then you can change your external environment, change your internal perception or both. The Syrian Refugee youth have little control over their external environment. When they were asked, “If you could go anywhere in the world, any where at all, where would you go?” 90% of them responded, “Syria”. Their homes, their schools, everything they once knew is gone and yet, before our very eyes the Syrian youth redefined the label “refugee”, most often synonymous with victim, into a self empowered state of choice; they elevated their energetic frequency by choosing to no longer be controlled by victimhood, and now embody a new state of perception that invites dreams to rest on their fingertips. Who is the teacher and who is the student? This journey to Jordan, working with hundreds of youth, once again confirms that we are all students and we are all teachers…
Every member of the team, Aaron Wagner, Michael Christopher Brown, Tasmeen Alsultan, Luc Reynaud, Benjamin Swatez, Glen Shackley and Lea Anne Almetwaly, has the most fascinating surrealistic story leading each of us to this project. Gabriel Garcia Marquez could easily write a sequel to his Nobel Literature Prize novel, this one called “100 Years of Synchronicity”. Kings and Queens can live and work side by side when there is respect and integrity, honoring the gifts and skills we each have spent years to master, working to compliment one another, all while holding space and paving the way for the younger generation to learn and grow into all they can be….
…To be continued
*Reflections from Benjamin Swatez