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UNTOLD STORIES
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Refugee Women

Imagine being forced out of your home, your country, leaving your family behind, and all that you have ever known.
There are refugees scattered all around the world at the present moment. And each and everyone has their own story.
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Bringing Art to a Refugee Camp:

 

We have created an art project for women refugees presently at a camp in Belgium. 

We will purchase easy-to-use photo cameras with the funds raised, and art materials which we will give to women at the Refugee camp and allow them to express and tell their personal stories through photography. 

Art is therapeutic, and one does not need to be a photographer to be able to tell her story. While conducting this project, we hope to help the women at the camp remember, daydream, and look into their future.

 

This is a Pilot project. We are counting on its great success, and planning to expand to other Refugee Camps Globally.
 

If you would like to support this project monetarily, please make a donation by using a donation Button on this page.

If you would like to become part of this project, and help on the voluntary basis, please send us a message by using a contact form.

 

UPDATE: 
 

As the project  is moving forward, it is wonderful to see how it evolves.  Some women prefer to photograph, and some prefer to write.  And the writing which has been shared so far is profound 🌼

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Siya Jin Personal Story

What I will say is not a dream, not an utopia and neither a passage from Aiskylos. It’s my story. I’ve born as a Kurdish girl in the darkness of a triangle. And of course that come with a price to pay. They’ve teared my dreams, hopes and soul from my body. They tightly covered up the reason of all of their sins, and my body.

 

I live in a triangle. I’m drowning while screaming silently in my invisible tears. I want an out from the darkness; by getting mixed with the colors of a rainbow. I know what it’ll cost. And I am scared of it. Of what? Of whom? The pen in my hand is crawling because of shame. The ink refuses to write on the pure white page. The letters are running all over the page. Crooked words denies to be in these sentences.

I’m begging to my pen, I’m begging to the words “you should help me,” I beg “I should talk; people should know my story.”  They can not stand my cries for help and pity me, and they start… scared that. I’m the shadow woman whose soul been ripped out of her body.

I’m the pudicity of my father, brother then my husband, my son. I shall endure all the bully, I shall obey without a single question. I shall not think. I shall read but not question. I already have guardians that think, question and decide for me. I shall be grateful for that until the end of time. Haven’t my etched tongue or manacled heart bleed at all? Do you think that my body haven’t look for my soul? For sure it did. “you can search for your soul, you can complete yourself. But you’ll be the prey for the wolves in the triangle. Your body will be ripped inside out just like your soul.” Said my mother, said my grandmother.

 

I have a Babylonian body. I have hairs that make men commit sins. I also have eyes that do the same, I also have hands… .There is no other way to survive in the triangle. I should pay my redemption by obeying. I am a mother, a lover, a wife, a woman. I am the source of life itself. They’re scared of me! They’re scared of my light. And the more I get buried in the darkness, they get scared even more. My son…that I carried for 9 months in my belly and raised with silent lullabies, my son… the apple of my eyes, my son… who's small hands I kissed with all the love in the world.

My first love, my fearless hero my father and my brother… My husband, my lover that whispers love poems in my ear…turned into my killers suddenly. I live in a triangle that is surrounded by religion, government and traditions. My language is forbidden, my dreams are forbidden, my identity is conquered. All takes me into its unending darkness. And it’s growing while feeds itself by my light ,and it gets more vicious, and it builds a larger kingdom at my expense.

 

They’ve stole my soul from my body. I’m the shadow woman, my heart is the phoenix. It keeps burning but keep coming back to life from its ashes. I want my soul back. I want to scream, sing, dance my heart out in my mother tongue. I want to hold onto a birds’ wings and fly to the clouds. No... no, I want to fly without holding onto anything. I want to live the freedom I’ve learned from books. Do you think I can get back on my feet? Can my soul and body unite again? Can I talk or dream freely? Can I live without any fear as just a woman? Oh God, how wild are my ideas, how unreachable are my dreams… I’m the shadow woman, whose body is looking for her soul. And am walking with walk the road by holding into pieces of hope… ~ Siya Jîn

Azul Personal Story

“At night memories invade me, in my mind I find all those things that are now gone.
I look around me and I realize that I am alone, that I have no one, I am alone and I only have myself.
It's not easy to turn off memories, you can't forget the people you love.
The distance is very cruel, because when I want a hug from my loved ones they are not here with me and that squeezes my soul.

Every morning when I wake up, I realize that this is my reality.
Sometimes I try to continue without looking back, but it is impossible. I have a space in my heart that has become empty because now I am like a drifting ship, I am like a dry leaf that the wind blows aimlessly.
In these last few months my life has been in chaos, sometimes I don't know myself, but I'm sure that better days will come, that all this is temporary, that I'll be fine.
I know I could, I can and I will be able to get ahead like I always did... And now I will.
Because I was never a coward, of all the times I fell, I always got up.

I'll be fine. I know it.

For a moment I would like to get out of this darkness,
There's a storm inside of me
I can't see things clearly.
Everything that happens around me intoxicates me.

I have extinguished the memories of those days of happiness,
I am slowly wounded by the absence of everything I have loved,
Now only God is the only one who is by my side.
I have begun to know myself more in this loneliness.
Right now all I want is a hug that lasts forever.

*Azul*💙

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Updates

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August 28th, 2022

Session #2

I can not express with words the happiness I feel right now, seeing this room full of the new participants in Untold Stories, the translators.. a real full setup!! 

This is beginning to look like an actual program, and it is growing!!! 
We had an excellent remote introduction, and now Mubaraka is continuing her part and meeting with our first group of women participants.

Wow!!! This is a HUGE SUCCESS!!!

We are deeply grateful to the Administration of the Refugee Center in Belgium for supporting and helping to organize this meeting

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July, 2022

 

 

I am thrilled to personally meet all the participating women/refugees while on my trip to Belgium. 
We spent 2.5 hours talking, laughing, and crying during our first meeting. I loved talking to all the women and teaching them about conceptual photography, a personal project in this case. Truly a fantastic experience to see them using a camera for the first time and learning how to photograph.
And the images I have received from these refugees/women are already amazing! We cannot wait to read their stories, as we also encourage writing. 

And this is only the beginning. Most important is that the women are very excited and committed. 
After talking to the participants, it became clear that having someone to talk to someone is an essential part of life at the Refugee center. At the end of our first meeting, the women would come over to me and start opening up. 
Unfortunately, the organizations don't always have the budget for counseling. But the administration is on board!! So Mubaraka and I have decided that if the project shows promising results (and it already has), we will look for a grant, which will allow employing mental health professionals for the refugees. 

While this is our pilot project, we are adjusting and figuring things out on the spot. So far - so good!!! I am happy!

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June, 2022

The project has been launched and ongoing. We will make sure to post the update photos here.

The women are having a lot of fun learning how to use a very basic photo cameras. 
Most have never held a camera in their hands, and all of this they are exploring now is new to them, just like the life they are stepping into.

We had a very productive couple of sessions, and the goal to lighten the mood and to have these women be comfortable and start opening up is starting to show some results.

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The faces of the participants are blurred for their safety and anonymity)

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