Mariam Eissa and Lujan Hadba (tutors from Syria) joined us in our morning session to discuss the difference between what we decided to take with us and what real refugees take. Refugees take almost nothing. Tools for survival, memories and most importantly their family members. If they can take anything at all, as time is more than often not abundant. Better said, scarce, or inexistent. They shared with us a film, inspired by a poem composed by Jenifer Toksvig: ‘What they took with them.’ The film of only 5 minutes struck us. Have you ever been in a traditional restaurant with a loud Italian family next to you? This was the exact opposite. You could hear a needle drop. The students and myself were deeply impressed by the reality of refugees on the run. It is most certainly worth a watch. Also the personal story both … and .. shared made the subject we study very real. A Syrian family who is dispersed over the different parts of the world, all escaped from the conflict in different directions. And a Palestinian family who fled to Syria decennia ago, and had to cope with the question: Do we leave again everything we built up, or do we stay in a country that is increasingly fragmented and diversified. A family member of both stories stood right in front of us. If the relevance of this year W.A.V.e. workshop was not fully clear for the students, it definitely is now.
Thank you Mariam and Lujan for being so open and honest with us. We hope to see you again in our workshop. As soon as possible :)