This post was first published by Between Borders. -- In society, and even more so in humanitarian work, we rarely give space for despair to be heard. Despair makes us uncomfortable. Think of how we structure our stories, and our films—there is almost always redemption. We rarely let despair have the final word, despite its … Continue reading Turning into Butterflies: A Syrian’s Reflection on Despair and Disgrace
For the full interview, please visit the EuropeNow journal here. "In this interview, Michael “Mike” Niconchuk reflects on some of the intimate lessons he has learned on healing and coping from refugees he has developed friendships with over the last five years working in post-conflict and displaced communities in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle … Continue reading Our Brains on Conflict: Trauma, Healing, and the Politics of Fear: An Interview with Mike Niconchuk
This post was first published on Between Borders. -- Germany is cold, in many senses of the word. Syria is warm, in many senses of the word. As more than 400,000 Syrian asylum seekers have made their way to Germany over the past two years or so, the challenge of integration, of adapting to … Continue reading Newton’s First Law of Refuge
This article was originally published by Between Borders. -- “Yeah, come, I’m at home.” I could hear Anas chuckle on the other end of the line. He corrected himself. “Well, I’m in the tent. You know what I mean.” It was, at first, hard to distinguish Anas’s tent from the rest of the oranged, wind-whipped … Continue reading Canada’s New Syrians and the Complex Search for “Home”
In partnership with Between Borders, I sat with Amjad Al-Masri, a Syrian refugee and poet who runs a library in Zaatari Refugee Camp, to talk about his story, about his past, and about the interaction of poetry, personal development, and psychological trauma.
"From various conflict zones, and climate displacement zones, refugees have clearly expressed that they’re done waiting. In this part of the world, and for many in Europe, their decision—their agentic, desperate decision to wait a little less harshly, elsewhere—has set off a domino effect of polarization and fear-mongering like we’ve never seen. And we make them wait more. We cling to control by inventing new reasons to wait."
Pity for Sisyphus, or anger at his rock, are equally as useless. Unfortunately, the Greeks didn’t chronicle what it felt like, what it meant, for Sisyphus to push his rock up the hill. Sisyphus’s story ranks as one of the most popular Greek myths, indicative of its imminent applicability to many struggles of modern man. … Continue reading Finding Sisyphus in Germany
I was about 8 years old the first time my Mom and Dad took me to Colorado. I remember one day of the trip in particular, as I had been looking forward to it for months. I remember the car ride, staring out at the craggy browns of the Colorado mountains and the mesmerizing contrast … Continue reading Le Petit Prince
In light of the recent escalation of Syria talk, war talk, and war violence, I can't help but cry out from the middle of the places that men in far away desks ceaselessly write about and talk about. If I could speak into the ears of American power... 3 September, 2013 Amman, Jordan Sir: Last … Continue reading If I could speak into the ears of American power
When you were little, did you ever mix together all of the ingredients in the fridge, just for fun? Did you ever swirl two incompatible colors of finger-paint on the pallet, just to see if you could make something new, something previously unseen? I did both. Frequently. I turned out a decent chef and artist … Continue reading Where the World Lets Off Her Steam