#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!

#WATWB June 2020 Work for Refugees

It’s that time again already.  The We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB has more stories for you.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are Sylvia McGrath, Susan Scott,  Shilpa Garg, Damyanti Biswas, and Belinda Witzenhausen

I nearly lost the story I was going to post. But I found it again thanks to SBS Australia journalist Jennifer Scherer.  It’s about refugee Bill Ngo who fled conflict and came to Australia. In time he began a business. Sadly, his business is dwindling due to losses in these COVID-19 days. But Bill is undaunted and plans to get going again.  Scherer tells his story on audio (put the sound on!).

The other part of this news is that there is good reason to believe small businesses like this are probably near us too. We can find out where they are and support them.

In a similar vein, back in January 2020, SBS News Australia also told a story of a Sri Lankan Restaurant ‘Colombo Social’ giving refugees and asylum seekers their first jobs. Or, you can check out their Facebook page.

ShaunChristieDavid

Shaun Christie-David. Image: SBS News Australia, 10 January 2020

“Sydney restaurant Colombo Social hires refugees and asylum seekers helping to kickstart their careers in Australia, and it’s run by two friends who met in high school, ”  says SBS News Australia.

What a great pair of stories in these days where we long to create greater harmony between the peoples of our earth and ensure the underprivileged find a home and a way to share their gifts.

And, for a poem…. by Miroslava Odalovis called ‘Silent Refugees’

What are we left with
When years and health are gone
When tents fall down under the roofs
When the shelters no longer shelter

When winters close down frozen and fireless
When summers burn crying for some ice
When springs forget to grow
And autumns die within a leaf

more at PoemHunter.com.

 

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A School for Refugees from an Ancient Culture #WATWB October

img_4079.jpgPhoto: SBS News Australia

Welcome to We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB for October.  Please visit other posts too, especially our generous co-hosts Shilpa Garg, Sylvia McGrath, Mary Giese,Guilie Castillo and Belinda Witzenhausen.

I was reluctant to post this story at first, as it contains religious and political themes.  We do not, in any way, wish to see Christians and Muslims as opposing each other. Nor to politicise the plight of refugees.  Even more deeply this is a humanitarian issue on schooling for refugees.  It is also about ancient cultures and their languages continuing to enhance other cultures.  That opportunity is worth celebrating.  Assyrians have been fleeing to new lands to start again.  One of those places is to a school in Sydney Australia.  Click here to read the SBS news coverage.

We traveled with our language and our culture,

To settle in a new land,

To add our voice among the many,

As we lend our hand.

As part of a body of a people

To make the peopled spectre grand.

We find a voice and a lesson

Within the school surrounds,

To celebrate our culture,

In a language that just resounds.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 27 October 2017


Would you like to join this #WATWB Blogfest?

Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:

1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. Link to a human news story on your blogone that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.

3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.

5. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hastag to help us trend!

Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Have your followers click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!

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Distracted

Distracted

Australian politicians have maneuvered another leadership spill in recent days.  5 Prime Ministers in 5 years.  They wax about financial capital, while our social and cultural capital continues to break down.  Some of us are just over it.

Distracted

Distracted.

So easily

We are

Drawn away,

Our attention spans

Shrunk

By the squash and squeeze

Of

Passing data,

Data,

Data.

In it all

Might we miss

Some of the cries?

Of Syrians

Flowing like a haemorrhage

From their homeland,

Of families forced to

Flee home

Even here,

As the spectre

Of domestic violence

Shatters their serenity.

But,

We concocted, clever

Aren’t we?!

A heady cocktail

Of fluff and fizz,

As Australian politics

Lobs a #libspill

Into the lounge room.

Fanciers,

Taken by its offering,

Chase the red herring

from the reality of life.

Meanwhile

More

Homes house hurt,

Refugees run for asylum,

And,

Back home,

Weathered women and men

Sit –

On asphalts and pavements,

Hair-dressed by fingered grim

– And hand

Copies of ‘The Big Issue

To random passers-by

In all

Our major cities.

As each new day dawns,

Another

Contemplates suicide,

Yet another convulses –

‘amphetam-iced’ in emergency

– while a phalanx of staff

struggle to restrain the high.

We dissect none

Of these.

For our prime-time news

Dishes up #libspill,

And

The indigestion

Has riven our guts

In the place

Where compassion

Is felt.

Simon C.J. Falk 15 September 2015