Tag Archives: greece

a waking dream.

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Refugee children have written a book of fairy tales and it's just awesome
 Refugee children have written a book of fairy tales and it’s just awesome. Travelling Tales features chickens fighting an alien invasion among its eight stories.

A collection of fairy tales written by child refugees in Greece has gone on sale to help those like the book’s authors.

Travelling Tales features a rugby-playing dog, a king who grew to love animals and chickens fighting an alien invasion among its eight stories.

The book is the brainchild of Brazilian journalist Debora de Pina Castiglione and her sister Beatriz. The two combined their love of words and illustrations to create the book but the ideas came directly from the children.

Debora ran workshops with Syrian and Kurdish children aged between four and 14 years old, at three refugee camps close to Thessaloniki in Vasilika, Lagadikia and Oreokastro.

Front cover of Travelling Tales

It gave the children something to do without focusing on their own lives.“The idea was not to have the children talk about their journeys or experiences fleeing war, at least not directly,” Debora said. “It was to let them tell the stories they wanted to, in ways they chose themselves.

“I think it’s important for young people to engage with one another. Children all over the world are watching the refugee situation, or hearing it on news programmes their parents watch and listen to, and as well as hoping it would be an interesting project for the children at the camps, I wanted to do something so the children outside of the crisis could see the children caught up in it on their own terms, as children with fun and interesting stories, just like they are.”

And there is something entirely captivating about the stories. In The Travelling Princess, Amira shuns her royal title to live as a poor person who goes around giving away gold she found as she explored the world.

In Aliens vs Chicken, Earth is under attack from extraterrestrials who want to steal all the chicken eggs in the world. While humans are relieved about the aliens’ demands, the chickens are not happy and fight back, reclaiming the eggs.

The story was written by nine-year-old Shahd who lives in the military camp of Lagadikia. Debora describes her stories as “full of adventure. Her creativity reminds us that there are heroes even where we least expect to find them.”

“We spent four months with the children,” Debora added. “In some cases, the children spoke English very well, and had quite clear ideas of their stories. In others, we worked with a translator, and also spent time with them to help them develop their ideas, to make the stories hold together better.

Illustration from Travelling Tales

“But the point was that these are the stories of the children, so we didn’t change their words, or add anything they did not include themselves.”

Five professional illustrators helped to bring the stories to life, including Beatriz.

The book was published last month and is available in English as well as Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Dutch. It is for sale via Amazon priced at £10.

Money collected from the sale of the book will be used to help support projects that look for alternative housing solutions to the military camps.

“hope is a waking dream.”

-aristotle

credits: the irish news, Debora and Beatriz de Pina Castiglione, child refugees in greece

#teachers for refugees 

my odyssey with the iliad.

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with the absence of my carpool mate

due to the arrival of her newest bambino

i attempted to fill my commute time

with my personal repertoire

of all things musical

every known

genre and format

then

sports rants

  in-car karaoke singing

 thoughtful npr shows

science

politics

mindless morning shows

when

i remembered

audio books

 the iliad

seemed

the perfect candidate

 a story

i read under duress

long ago

yet remembered

nothing of

i decided

to give it

a second chance

it was an incredible odyssey for me

filled

with drama

and matched wits

and dialogue

long forgotten

 “you are a bitch, unparalleled.”

“i will offer you 3 fine horses and a chariot or a woman who will sleep with you.”

“my wife, the goddess, defies me out of habit.”

not unlike reality tv shows

but much better written

with humor

and grace

and honor

and ego

and pride

and emotion

and death

and rituals

and flashy armor

and sumptuous meals

and lusty sex

and days off from fighting

for celebrations

and memorials

and just for rest

and always

the behind the scenes manipulations

with gods

and mortals

mixing it up

 all trying

to find their way

 figure out life

win their battles

much like the rest of us

and

 i grew to love the story

all fourteen discs of it

through

rain

dark

sunrises

traffic jams

accidents

highway miles

sunsets

high winds

 i looked forward to it

every day

as i began to understand

who all the

‘son of, maker of, and those whose names all ended with the letter s’

 characters were

 how they were connected

 when it all ended

i was left wanting more

and

if only

homer had

written another

epic poem

he could have called it

“the odyssey”

oh, he did.

and

i can’t wait.

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the journey has been incredible from its beginning.
– sidney poitier