Thursday, November 12, 2009

Farah Emaad

My name is Farah Emaad . I am 13 years-old and I’m in eighth grade. I was born and raised in Iraq but now I live with my dad and mom in Syria. We all left Iraq in 2005 because of the security situation, which was real bad. I remember when one day a gang kidnapped my teacher and five of my friends outside the school as they were going to their homes. I saw this accident when I was 9 years old. I was frightened, while running to my home I was crying, when I arrived to my home I hag my mom, and I told her what happen while crying and shaking. I stopped going to the school after that.The other story happen with my mom, while going to her work. She was wounded when an explosion took place close to where she was. She had to stay in the hospital for about 100 days.All of these stories make my family take the decision to leave Iraq. We registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees or the UNHCR as refugees, we looking for resettlement in any country so that we can live in peace.My hope to be policeman, because it requires hard work and I like that. But other than that I like soccer, basketball and I like to listen to music.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mustafa N, 17

My name is Mustafa Nateq. I’m 17. I left school when I was in ninth grade because of the security situation in Iraq, which is very bad. We came to Syria on June 2009.

I saw many accident like explosions and killing where I lived -- in AlDora area in Baghdad. It has been always a very danger area. One day I was doing some shopping with my Mom and suddenly she fell on the ground and I saw the blood flowing from her leg. After that we heard sounds of the shooting then saw people running. I didn’t know what to do A taxi driver stopped and took my Mom. Ambulances are not available. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking "what if that shooting was directed at me, what if my mother died?"

I will never forget that accident. I no more want to be in Iraq so that I don't have to face any of this again. That doesn't make my situation any easier as I have heart failure and the medical care is basically non-existent. All I hope for is to know my future after registering with the UNHCR as a refugee.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Muna H

The events of this story of an Iraqi girl are real.

Once upon a time, there was a little happy girl who lived in Baghdad and used to be described as the lovely beautiful. At the same time, she was an unlucky girl as she had Kidney failure since she was one.

When the girl was five, she became very curious about everything. She began making her own toys instead of buying them. She also started reading with her older sister as the latter did her homework. She also organized her bedroom at that age.

Fate, however, became the obstacle of the rest of her life by the time she was six. In one of Decembers’ cold days, and while she was playing with her sisters ‘hide and seek’, she fell on the gas heater that was sat up to heat the house. Her shouts looking for her sisters were less loud than the scream of pain as her body was lit on fire. After the fire almost ate all of her body, she was taken to the hospital with the least hope that she would survive. She left the hospital six months later with major deforms and shortage in her right leg.

A year later, she went back to school so that she brings past her dreams to reality and stops thinking about her situations and deforms. When she was in her seventh grade, fate played another, yet a worse role, in her life. Her country, Iraq, was invaded in 2003 to stop all means of living. But in spite of the chaos following the war, she didn’t lose hope. She was very happy to start studying again a year later. Unfortunately, the chaos also brought sectarian violence, killing on identity and kidnapping.

The little girl had a share of that chaos. One day and while in the school bus on her way to school, a car with two armed men stopped the bus. The girl was sitting next to her friend. The two armed men got into the car and threatened the driver that he must stop driving and moving, or else. Everybody at the bus started screaming.

The girl hold tight of her friend and closed her eyes out of fear, as if not seeing the armed men, would prevent them from seeing her. All the sudden, she felt some force is taking her friend away. Once she opened her eyes, she saw that criminal, one of the armed men, taking her friend and driving away. At the time, she felt sad, frightened, weak, and frustrated.

After that incident, the girl became depressed and sick, and no more could go to school. Her family decided to leave their home, as well as the country they were born and raised in. they went to Syria where they took their girl to psychiatric. She began feeling better. However, she couldn’t go back to school, as when she left her country, she couldn’t bring her documents that proved the grade she was in before leaving the country. Still, she was willing to home study and bring the other talents to the ground. She writes. She likes to learn languages. She reads a lot.

Right now, she is waiting for a chance, any chance to get a treatment for her leg so that she continues the road she already started- to become a doctor, and a writer at the same time.

She is looking and longing for a brighter tomorrow to be able to walk again. She never gave up. She never will. She became stronger.

This is me, and that is my story.

Muna Hassan, 16 years old.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


This story, acted by 5th graders at the Ross School, is the product of a collaborative effort between Ross 5th graders and NWN students in Syria.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Art Opening

From across the ocean,

I send my gratitudeFrom Noor Hassan, the Iraqi nationless girl. Warm regards to all of those who are looking at my paintings and helping me cross my first steps to accomplish my first dream, the dream that will be accomplished in the art-curator land: America.I can't express to you my happiness knowing that my paintings were going to be shown in the cosmopolitan land. I am thrilled to be able to finally express, through my moderate paintings, the stories of a war-torn country that turned to be so fragile.

In my paintings, I show the sorrow of gestures and movements in the middle of stark wave and thoughts that can grow and succeed in spite of all the pain. I feel I am like you in the sense that we share humanity. We share a common space, air and sky. We share one world.

I am excited to overcome fear and silence, and to start painting again. I thank you from my heart, I will always thank you when Baghdad- the big heart- is protected better and I can go back to accomplish more of my dream. You gave me a sense of something that is so beautiful and unique.

All the respect,
Noor Hassan, 17 years-old
Damascus, Syria

Friday, May 29, 2009

Donations to NWN are tax deductible!

Through the sponsorship of CODEPINK, donations to Native Without a Nation are tax deductible and can be made by check, credit or debit card either online or by mail.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. All of me, my home and my things are in Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. My friends, my books are in Iraq. My school, my notebooks are in Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. All of them are in Iraq.

Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. I came from Iraq to America because all people kill people and some people wanted to kill us. I couldn’t stay in Iraq. In Iraq they put a bomb in my school and next to my home. So I came from Iraq to America.

My friends are dead I miss them and I cry and cry. All of them are in Iraq. I miss my family in Iraq.

America is fun. You can’t kiss your girlfriend in Iraq. You can only call her that’s all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


“Capoeira?!! What does that mean?" Huseen said, before I brought my students and other Iraqi kids to watch it.

On April 10th 2009, a group of dancers from Brazil, Portugal, Germany, and Syria performed the Capoeira dance to the Iraqi refugee and other kids in Damascus. My kids at Nativewithoutanation, not a surprise, had no idea what Capoeira is!

Hussein is one of the 40 other kids I was able to bring to the show. He was very curious. Before we arrived to our destination, he approached me and said “What does Capoeira mean?” It didn’t take that long to explain when the word “dance” was involved.

Upon our arrival, we were taken in a tour to be familiar with this special kind of performance. The kids were also taught how to dance the Capoeira. It was very amusing and joyful to the Iraqi refugees kids.

Two hours after attending the show, everybody took a break and pastry and juice were served, which add more joy to the kids, of course. Then, the Iraqi refugee kids danced the Capoeira with the trainers.

Now Hussein and the others know not only the meaning of the Capoeira dance, but also learned how to dance it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Zaineb Hassan

My name is Zaineb Hassan and I am 11 years old. I am in fifth grade. I am from Baghdad. I like going to school very much.
Now that I live in Syria with my family, I keep remember how nice and big our house was! It was part of a big farm. We had a good life there. We came to Syria after the war when the situation in Baghdad became seriously bad. We decided to leave when my father received threats. But in addition to that, it had gotten to scary seeing all those corpses of dead bodies in streets on our way to school.

Then my father decided to bring us to Syria to live in peace. I was able to register at one school in Syria. It was difficult at the beginning because they used different dialect but after two months I was began using their dialect. Now I even have many friends. My ambition is to be surgeon. My favorite hobbies is to play gymnastic.

Anfal Hassan

My name is Anfal Hassan, 13, and I am in seventh grade. I live in Syria for 3 years now. Before that I lived peacefully in Baghdad with my family in a big house. The area was called Al-dora. We are a big family. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers in addition to my Mom and Dad. All of my sisters are ambitious.

After 2003 we face many problems, my dad got threats at his work office. And there was an attempt to kidnap my older sister as she was on the way to school. Her freind was kidnapped and the next day her family found her dead body thrwon in the street.

After that, we got frightened. We stopped going to school. And then we faced another, strange type of problem. Some group tried to divorce my Dad and Mom because they are from differed sects. Of course my parents didn't get divorced. But then there was no way we could have stayed there after that happened.

When we came to Syria I lost one year from school but I was able to get advanced and continue my level.

Now our live is difficult, my dad can't work and we are just kids can't do anything. We live on some assistance from UNHCR but it's not enough. The house we live in now is not healthy and has just one bed room. Although life is difficult, we continue to be hopeful and hoping for better tomorrow.

My ambition is to be inventor and my hobby is painting.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

First art show

Four months ago I was trying to find the gallery can help Noor to show her paintings.

Noor is one of my students. She is an artist, and a few weeks ago I went to a meeting of Iraqi artists and writers to ask if they could help us host a show for the Iraqi kids.

One of them was encouraging and she is a poet and she liked what I do with my students. She agreed to host the show on Friday, Jan. 30.

Noor was nervous.

"The most important day of my live is this day," she said.

There were not a lot of people there but I am happy that I have a new project for artistic children, and now I am planning to a bigger show with more student artists.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year's

On the occasion of the New Year, Al-Nahren charity held a celebration for Iraqi kids in Damascus in the big church in Jaramaneh area where a lot of Iraqi refugees live there.

January 3rd was a good day for my students because I was able to get 15 tickets for them to the celebration. The amazing thing that the Christians and Muslims kids celebrated together in the church without prejudice, and everybody enjoyed themselves.

The gathering included Iraqi clowns and distribution of gifts for the children. There were about 300 kids at the celebration, as well as Iraqi actors, staff from the Iraqi embassy and some Iraqi volunteers in the UNHCR.

The clowns were able to put smiles on the kids' faces even though this is a difficult time — in the winter it's cold here and the students need many clothes and not all of them have heating systems and if they do it's very expensive this winter, because power is getting more expensive and everybody knows that the Iraqi refugees haven't any income in Syria.

Three months ago the UNHCR stopped the food system to Iraqi families in Syria, we don't know if they will continue or not. I think if they stop assisting refugees for much longer they will return back to the dangers of Iraq.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Test!

So, I needed to find out if my efforts teaching the Iraqi refugee kids how to use computers are fruitful. I sat up an examination for them.

Last week, I had the first test and it went very well. The "students" were very excited to compete with each other for higher grades. One of the kids actually cried when she got 8/10. When I saw that, I thought about how much these kids care about studying and learning even when they are this traumatized!

As I asked questions and got the right answers, I felt pleasure that I am doing the right thing although with many difficulties. I mean, considering the fact that I have no single chair, not enough computers or a blackboard, this is an achievement.

However, a few weeks ago, I went to one of the Syrian educational institutes and asked them if they have anything to help with. Eventually, they donated a few computer handouts, which were really helpful. So, things are not too bad at the end.