Project Amal ou Salam
managed by E. Hadj-Hamdi
Project Amal ou Salam is a volunteer-run grassroots organization that works with Syrian refugee children in day-long workshops. We use music, art, sports, photography and team-building activities to teach them about trust and unity and help them deal with the trauma they have sustained. Our workshops provide open dialogue, giving the kids a safe space to tackle the issues that they face and develop their own ideas and visions for the future of Syria. In addition to running workshops in refugee areas in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, Project Amal ou Salam also sponsors schools in these countries of refuge and inside Syria, in addition to running smaller workshops with graduate students and in response to urgent needs, such as the recent influx of Syrian refugees from Kobani.
Nousha Kabawat founded Project Amal ou Salam in 2013 after a visit to refugee areas in southern Turkey and to the Atmeh IDP camp in northern Syria, where she was struck by the lack of educational resources and support for the children there. Nousha, a Damascus native who holds a master's degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University, is currently in charge of youth involvement at the Syrian Center for Dialogue and Reconciliation in Toronto and is a Global Journalism Fellow at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. Aziz Abu Sarah, a co-founder of Project Amal ou Salam, is the executive director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.
According to the UNHCR, to date there are over 3 million registered Syrian refugees, of which over 50% are under the age of 17. Since the revolution began in 2011, these children have been forced from their homes and country and have been unable to access basic needs or education. Project Amal ou Salam believes that every child has the right to an education, to a childhood free from trauma and violence, and to the hope of a peaceful tomorrow.