Jessie Turner, United Kingdom
30 nights later – after more than 60 coach journeys, 15 days in class, a dozen trips to the dollar store, nightly class planning*, 4 group day trips, never-ending discussion, dancing and debate, singing, eating and laughing… successful haggling attempts, unsuccessful haggling attempts and at least a thousand sales of shwarma- the beautiful team of Jusoor volunteers part their separate ways, whilst sharing an undoubtedly precious experience at the 2 Jusoor schools and the hope of having delivered a fantastical summer camp to the children we all had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know.
A fond memory, amongst many, was before class one morning. I pander around the store cupboard and empty classroom gathering materials resembling jelly fish legs- today’s theme is under the sea. As I’m cutting up some wool, the door opens and in strolls a morning-dazed Hussein. With sleepy eyes we both smile and, while I continue chopping wool, the often mischievous Hussein decides to walk around the class picking up pens and pencils and attempting to re-attach fallen art work to the walls. I find him the wall stapler – which always brings great excitement – and together we spend the morning silently and dozily in a ‘tidying dance’! As more children arrive, we move on to the cupboard – with keen hands colour coordinating the pens and pencils. In such moments it made me smile that, despite my shameful knowledge of any Arabic, such a sense of team and togetherness could be created so naturally and beautifully with the generosity and positive energy from the kids; entirely beyond words.
*Note Cafe Yones and Dar Bar