Yesterday, 60 Minutes ran a story about The Middle East, that noted that 1.5 million Syrian Refugees live in camps in Jordon as of today. Jordon’s King, Adbullah II, noted that the country is going to have to start turning back Syrian refugees. There are 3 million Syrian refugees currently in Lebanon as well. And still more along the  Turkish border. There is a crises involving Syrians fleeing their homeland…and there are things that you and I can actually do about it.

Below is a story about a singular activist who is documenting life inside Syrian Tent Camps, and who is currently showing work from that effort, and is also in the midst of a toy drive she initiated for Syrian kids in these camps. In doing this work…Jennifer Macdonald is not only helping tell TRUE and REAL stories about life in the Middle East….which is essential…putting real faces and stories that humanize Arab life into the minds of Westerners, again…very essential  …But she is also helping present a different kind of Face of The West…to The Arab World.

This is as important as it gets…because this is a dialog….and an environment….that needs a lot of Positivity and Love and Humanization….Right at this very moment.

THE LUMINOUS SCOPE

Jennifer MacDonald’s Luminous Scope Project focuses on Women In the Arab World initiating and involved with inspiring and very positive projects. She spent the summer working and living with Syrian refugees on the borders of Lebanon and Turkey. She has written of the experience: ” it was truly life altering. I witnessed first hand how these ‘tent city’ refugees are struggling to normalize their lives under difficult and barren circumstances.”

The Luminous Scope’s  Mission Statement is to Educate. Activate. Donate, in  other words, teach people about some aspect of the MENA (The Middle East and North Africa) region that doesn’t get very in depth mainstream coverage, encourage them to take action and become involved somehow, and then give back to the communities or people we are highlighting in some meaningful way.

THE UPCOMING “(DIS)PLACED” EXHIBIT IN ASHVILLE, N. C.

In an effort to “inform and educate the pubic about this crisis, as well as offer practical ways in which they can help alleviate some of the daily and ongoing suffering, ” Macdonald has created a multi-media exhibit from her  time in the camps called “(DIS)PLACED. “Profits from the exhibit (sales. etc) will go straight back to the refugees themselves. She is also coordinating a ‘toy basket’ drive for the children specifically – who have no toys whatsoever to play with. The baskets will include basic games, jump ropes and soccer balls.

The exhibit will take place in October and donations can be made here….

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FF84ELMEH3BKS

This project has been fiscally sponsored by a registered non-profit so all donations will be fully tax deductible.

BASMEH AND ZEITOONEH

Here is a story below by the journalist Florence Massena, on whats going on in Syria  and how NGOs founded by women are doign a lot to face the crise.s
One of them, Basmeh wa (and)  Zeitooneh, helps Syrians find stability and dignity in sewing and embroidery.

Jennifer  met with Basmeh and Zeitooneh in Shatila (A Refugee Camp) and brought back a big shipment of their very beautiful wallets and scarves to sell at the aSHEville Museum where the The “DIS (Placed)  exhibit will take place.

Syrian women find independence in embroidery

Of the nearly 3 million Syrian refugees currently sheltered in Lebanon, 52.3% are women, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Coming alone or with their families, they are often subject to violence, but some have been able to find help from the many nongovernmental organizations in the country. One of them, Basmeh wa Zeitooneh, helps Syrians find stability and dignity in sewing and embroidery.

“Women are strong,” proclaims Rihab, a Palestinian Syrian who fled Yarmouk a year and a half ago with her family. “My husband doesn’t work. He only eats and sleeps all day.” Like the 60 other women assisted by Basmeh wa Zeitooneh, she became the breadwinner out of necessity. “Now, Syrian women bring money home. It’s harder for men.” UNHCR provides only $30 a month for each registered refugee in Lebanon, forcing families to scramble to find other sources of income
CLICK HERE to Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/lebanon-syria-refugees-women-work-ngos.html##ixzz3DmqnUWUV

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