Palestinian- Israeli Art & Dialogue

I recently got back from the ancient land of Israel/ Palestine, where diverse peoples claim the same tiny slice of our planet and have been unable to resolve their conflict to this day. While politicians fail to find solutions year after year, ordinary Jews and Arabs generally live separate lives and fear one another, even when they live close together. While some believe these…

A chilly reception in Jordan: Syrian Refugee Project part 3

Upon arriving in Jordan, I was anxious to get started on my third series of projects with Syrian refugees in the past year and a half. But the weather had other plans for me; the night of my arrival, the region was engulfed in a rare snowstorm and I spent days waiting for the country to thaw. While it seemed impossible for me to…

Refugee Camp Art: the Za’atari Project 2014

On a blazingly bright Tuesday morning in Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp, I met with my team of fellow artists and educators to plan for our day of workshops and mural painting with children. My friend Hamed, a Syrian who works as a hygiene promoter in the camp, told me of his pain to learn that a close friend of his had been killed fighting…

Painting a Syrian Refugee Camp: the Za’atari Project

The Syrian Refugee Youth Arts Project in the giant Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan took place in June and July of this year. For this initiative I teamed up with international artists, Syrian refugees and child participants to explore important issues in the camp and the residents’ hopes and dreams for the future of their nation. We painted collaborative murals on tents, washrooms,…

Frustation in Za’atari Refugee Camp

One afternoon, after the kids had left for the day and we artists were putting some finishing touches on a mural on the outside of a large tent that serves as a community center, we began to hear shouting coming from inside the tent. There had been a meeting going on between local “street leaders” in that area of the refugee camp and one…

Arrival at Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp

I arrived at the airport in Amman, Jordan at around 5:30 this morning and headed to meet up with everyone from the organizations I’ll be working with, APTArt and ACTED. I was surprised to learn that we would be heading to the camp right away! After a quick cup of coffee we were on our way through the desert-y scenery to an area near…