Protecting the Holiday Spirit for Children

Determined to help displaced and refugee children celebrate Eid al-Adha with resilience, volunteers from the Jafra Foundation for relief and youth development created twin carnivals in Homs and Damascus to make them beam.

In Qudsiya in northern Damascus, one carnival championed the right of children to enjoy Eid, transforming the playground of the Nour School in Yarmouk camp into a festive field of singing, music, yoga and theater. Face-painting completed the atmosphere, with toddlers, kids and teens adorned with cats, clowns, and delirious moustaches.

Jafra, which works to supply the urgent needs of Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians, organized another Eid carnival in Homs, featuring handicrafts, traditional costumes, clown dancing shows, and a children’s singing concert. Volunteers also conducted a public awareness campaign focusing on the importance of hygiene and promoting volunteerism among residents of Al-Aiddin Camp, who cleaned up the Al-Quds and Bisan Streets.

For more info – Jafra Foundation

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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