Mexp day 8: developing projects and gaining experience

 Finally the first day out of our residence has arrived; we are going out of the “Shneller School” to have our projects implemented in the “Mafraq center for youth – مركز الشباب النموذجي المفرق” in the Mafraq area after saying goodbye to samer who is staying in the school to finish some work.

Hassan Khazaleh & Fares Shrayfein

Hassan Khazaleh & Fares Shrayfein

As soon as we arrived to the center, we had a warm welcome by the supervisor of the center Mr. Hassan Khazaleh and the president of the Jordanian youth gathering Mr. Fares Shrayfein and we had also receive a very nice invitation from their parts to attend the cultural event that will be held on the 19th of this month in the center.

A small tour around the place was a good thing for us to get to know this center and its rooms, and afterwards we all sat down inside the main hall and every team did a presentation of its projects in front of the participants from the center.

Mafraq center for youth

And as I had promised you that I will not be the only person to write on the blog (yeah I’m getting annoying right?), I was pushing every project group to write something about this first day of engagement and the result were as following:

Project “Cultural-Toon”:

cutural – toon team

We sat in the ping-pong room and It was quiet and nice period of time …. We had 4 participants… 3 boys and 1 girl…we started with ice breaking games then an introduction about animation…after that we moved to explain the concept of flip book which is the basic form of animation….then we asked the participants to draw anything they want (feelings-their cities-dreams-etc…), after that we sat in a discussion circle every one of us talked about his/her drawing (what did he draw and why?)… (creators and participants) talked about many interesting and important things like pollution – play grounds- raising awareness- and many other things…)…one of the participants suggested that’s he want to share everything that he learned with other participants in other groups by making an information exchanging work shop between all the participants in all groups after we finish.

Then we took pictures for the participant to put them in the final movie that we are going to make…and we did make stop motion scenes using ourselves as an objects …it was really fun….and the final thing was asking the participants about certain things about their city and their life…and while that we recorded the voices so we can use them in the final movie as the main dialogue.

Project “Art Art Envo Art”:

Art Art Envo Art team

Mafraq was the first place we do the paper factory workshop and the art workshop working in the same time… We began with ice breaking games followed by a simple introduction about the idea and a slideshow showing project preparation and previous participants’ work.

The participants were quite interactive and shared in both workshops in two successive stations and were convinced with the importance of the idea to a great extent specially after reading the banners we prepared about paper recycling.

Project “Theater & Dabkeh”:

dabkeh theater team

It was hard to focus on our project since it was located in the entrance on the center. And apart from hat we had so much fun dancing Dabkeh and acting and learning theater activities.

We had discussions about human rights. It was a good experience because everybody said how they felt and their opinions.

We made a challenge between the Lebanese Dabkeh and the Jordanians and it was like a party.

Project “Fragrance of the city”:

Fragrance of the city team

This is it!

Rehearsal is done. The schedule made our participants ready.

We’re starting out with a laugh,

When we all know each other, the creative part begins.

The participants are into it. They like to draw, write, and express their feelings.

They reflect on their future and their life in general.

Further on, they learn to speak in front of people to express their opinions and arguments.

What is great about their country/city, what would they like to change.

Project “Reclaim your neighborhood”:

reclaim your neighborhood team

Tuesday was a challenging day for us. The people who participated were not dressed to sit on the ground and do chalk paintings. Many had dressed up for the occasion of foreigners coming. However lack of motivation and high heels, the terrace was decorated.

During our environmental discussion, there was a smaller disagreement whether plastic was organic material.

All in all, an interesting day in the desert.

Project “Defair yalla”:

de-fair yalla team

Imagine playing football. But you, and only you, can use your hands. Is that fair? That was what our participants had to try out during the first day of our project. Gathering 16 participants between 11 and 23, we kicked off a game of pretty nontraditional football, ending up in a big debate. Banning one person from touching the ball, placing plastic cups in front of someone’s eyes and letting another person pick up the ball and run along with it, all provoked a lot of feelings.

Yet, the game continued despite the unfairness, quite differently from what we experienced during the day before when doing the same project at the Schneller School. Yesterday, the participants became really mad at us as judges, the game and the other participants when the rules turned unfair, whereas today the team spirits and joyful atmosphere stayed throughout the game.

The team leaders also grasped their leader role very differently – one leader giving the handicaps to people who were already slightly weak players, making the strong players stay strong – and the other leader giving the handicaps to the best players so the team players became more equal.

Afterwards, we had more discussion and used the topics from these to do sculptures, picturing not being listened to, experiencing nepotism in the universities and being fed up with only letting the elders decide in the tribal societies. All in all, the whole day summed up some of the participants’ experiences and feelings of inequality, unfairness and frustration.

music dance and fun fun fun

That was it for the projects, we wrap up things with an amazing spirit enjoying music and dancing dabkeh and just having fun all together. and we will be meeting them tomorrow in the morning to continue our second day.

originally posted on MEXP’s Blog