BEIRUT: The Lebanese revolution has brought together citizens from all cities and ages, and some initiatives are working to make every protester feels involved, such as the Storytelling and Arts N’ Crafts initiative.
With the help of other mothers, Lina Daouk-Öyry, an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Olayan School of Business (OSB) at the American University of Beirut, acknowledged the importance of instilling the concept of citizenship at a young age, especially during the revolution.
“We created the Storytelling and Arts N’ Crafts initiative to teach kids that they can play an effective role in society. It’s important to teach the young to stand up for their rights constructively,” Daouk-Öyry told Annahar.
“We realized that kids are accompanying their parents but aren’t doing much. We wanted them to feel more included and for that we created a safe space for self-expression via art,” said Rania Mroueh, another organizer of this event.
In hopes of involving children in the patriotic movement, one of the activities consisted of encouraging them to come up with slogans related to Lebanon and write them down on placards.
“We incorporated these patriotic slogans within our music and drama related activities. If you ever want to leave an impact, use art. It is simple, yet loud,” Mroueh said.
The organizers, however, do not have a prepared list of activities, they only prepare the necessary material beforehand. Children are given the freedom to decide what they want to create.
“We do not have a fixed schedule of activities. It’s spontaneous and fun. Children use our materials freely to craft an art piece of their own liking such as face masks, hats, or drawings,” Mroueh said.
As for the storytelling part of this initiative, themes that hold a nationalistic value were narrated to the kids. Volunteers signed up and took part in reading books that promote patriotism and peace.
“I absolutely love the concept behind this event. Through this initiative, my daughter was taught to be limitless in thinking and courageous in expressing,” Roula Karam, one of the mothers, said.
Sharing Karam’s sentiment, Maya Abouchalbak, another mother at the event added that “I recommend all parents to bring their children to this small event. It’s important to me to show my kids the beauty in their homeland. My kids are expressing their love to Lebanon through art pieces they are creating. It’s a memory they will cherish when they grow up.”
This event has been ongoing for three days and is located in the space between Al Amin Mosque and the Egg in Downtown, Beirut. Mroueh noted that the event takes place at the same location between 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., and while the timing might slightly vary, all rescheduling is discussed on WhatsApp.
“The survival of our country lies within our children, the future generation. We need to empower them,” Mroueh told Annahar.
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