Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Native Without a Nation

My friend Firas has a project for Iraqi refugee kids here in Syria. It’s called “Native without a Nation”. It is a web blog that uses digital technology and web cams to connect Iraqi kids directly with kids from other countries. As part of the program he teaches kids how to use the computer and access the internet. He also photographs the kids and adds a brief biography of each student to his website. We revisited Ali’s family (see Ali and Sadha) yesterday to get the biographies of his two younger children, Haseen age 14 and his sister Asmaa age 11. Asmaa’s brief biography says it all!

Asmaa Ali
Age 11

"My idea of life is a very simple life. Not complicated.
First, I want to study.
Second, I want to draw.
Third, I like to make beaded jewelry.
Fourth, I want to be successful in my life for me and my family, exactly like a normal family.

We are without a nation. When will we not live in a strange country? When will we have a home? I am without safety. I am unable to study. My wish is to be successful despite the difficult situation now. We are refugees. If that is OK with you, don’t even ask me about it."

Please take a look at the work Firas is doing with the young people here in Damascus. It will inspire you. If you know of a local school that would like to arrange a digital interview, contact Firas, his website is