Workshop blog - mmmmm

Day 3

Already starting to see progress amongst some of the women, their confidence and personalities are beginning to shine through as they become more comfortable with me and each other. We spent an hour playing games and warming up, then in the break a few women were worried that I wasn’t staying for the whole duration. I don’t know where it came from, but a group started asking me how long I’m staying and why only 3 weeks? They were pleading with me to stay longer. They said they can open up in the room with me but can’t with a man.  

A couple of the women have started looking after the kids in the nursery because their husbands wont allow them to go on stage even though they are desperate to be involved.  So sad.  I want to tell them ‘never mind what your husband says, just do it anyway’ but of course I can’t say that. 

The second half was spent doing voice training, which they are really getting into. I feel like they are enjoying learning new things.  And when they achieve something a huge round of applause fills the room, which is so inspiring.  

During the break we showed clips of a film that was made last year, Queens of Syria, a similar project but in Jordan. In the film, we see a woman talking about her experiences in Syria and why they left.  One of the women in the room burst into tears and left the group to sit on the side. A few others were upset too. Some of them enjoyed it. All of them wanted to see more.  

We did breathing exercises. Inhaling and exhaling, leading to exhaling on certain sounds. When we reached mmmm and I had 40 women humming, Souad put her hands on her ears and says ‘I don’t like it, it sounds like the planes going over when we were in Syria” such little throw away lines that I find heartbreaking but can’t stop the work to dwell on it and discuss so I just have to swallow it and carry on regardless. 

A brief week and day off tomorrow, then back again on Monday. Looking forward to it.