#WATWB February 2021 – Music Teacher Helps Heal Trauma of Refugees

Welcome to another post of the We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB. For this month we have fabulous co-hosts yet again.

Sylvia McGrathPeter Nena, Shilpa Garg,  Eric Lahti and  Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen.

I always seem to be late with posts these days. But here we go.

Photo credit: SBS news, accessed 28 February 2021.

A music teacher is “helping refugees to heal their trauma through song” as reported by Sandra Fulloon from SBS News.

“Bashar Hanna fled Iraq after the war and later set up a choir for others who have left their homelands. Amid the lasting mental health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, he says he’s doing what he can to help.”

A choir member, Rula, is humming what turns out to be a tune “called Mother Earth, the lyrics describe living in peace, without war.”

The theme resonates with teacher, Bashar, and his student, Rula. Having both fled Bagdad as refugees it is consoling for them. This is because the COVID lockdowns led to these refugees reliving some of the traumas of the Gulf War.

So… Bashar “founded several art-based therapy groups including The Choir of Love, which partners with STARTTS, the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors.”

“Music, from my point of view, is a very powerful tool; it’s a language.” BASHAR HANNA

You can read more of the SBS news report about Bashar, Rula and others here.

The We Are The World Blogfest started around this time a few years ago and has continued on most months of each year. Please check out posts by our co-hosts and others. You can also follow #WATWB on all the main social media.

I don’t need to post a poem this time around as music is a poetic medium. We are so glad it is too!

Gone

Gone

In the wake of those stricken by suicide.  If this raises concerns for you, or for one whom you love, seek assistance now.  Australia https://www.lifeline.org.au/ ; USA http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  ; Canada http://suicideprevention.ca/thinking-about-suicide/find-a-crisis-centre/  .  Or check where you live.

 

(i)

Gone.

You were.

Now

Not.

Gone.

No longer here.

The dance of dark and light,

Padding within,

Has come to

It’s zenith;

Or

To is plummet.

The darkness has cloaked you,

And the light

Has gone.

Except for a glimmer

That we grasp in memory,

Holding it in our hands,

Lest

It too

Is gone.

Were you freed

As you crossed

That final breach?

Or was it a sudden last jab

Or pain?

Then did you rise?

Like a raptor aloft,

Away from the soil of your sorrow?

Do you now feel pain?

Or a new one,

As you witness the wake,

The grief,

Of the remnant

Who mourn the loss,

your passing

From their midst?

In their lives now

You’ve left.

And left, yes,

A capacious hole,

Like the cold fissure

Of a crevasse,

Deep, sharp, biting and

Dark at its bottom.

As the pain left you

It alighted

On those who love you,

Who miss you.

The hurt is not gone,

Just transferred to others

Now needing,

Oh yes, needing much,

To do the healing

That needs to be done.

 

(ii)

May the dance of light

Leap over the shadows.

May its rays bring a new warmth

To the cold hurt.

And may those who remain

Catch the light

To illumine their pain.

And may that light,

Ever so bright and warm,

As it animates them,

Shine forth.

And may it beam so brightly

That it goes to you

And completes the cycle.

But,

This time,

Encircling your darkness in its ray,

That you may become

A star shining,

A beacon of peace,

And

The darkness

Gone.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk   13 December 2015