First URDA Netherlands event kicks of – URDA Netherlands

First URDA Netherlands event kicks of

When messages of love and peace are being exchanged between Dutch children and Syrian children in refugees´ camps in Lebanon, their hearts unite. Dreams and hopes are shared spontaneously, and children can create their own beautiful world, far away from the harsh reality they are in.   Rotterdam, 8-10 July 2018. This July, the first event of URDA Netherlands called Swap a Snippet event (´ruil een stukje met een vluchteling´) kicked off in Pages Bookstore in Rotterdam. The event was held in cooperation with URDA Lebanon, and at the heart of it were hundreds of messages conveying love and solidarity that were exchanged between children in the camp in Lebanon and the Netherlands. This exchange was made possible by URDA’s team, who had translated the Dutch messages to Arabic and ensured that they reached the children in Lebanon. Their responses were sent back and could be seen at the event in Rotterdam. “I was so happy when I received a message from Marta”, Saeed from Lebanon said, “I do not know her in person but I was so glad when I got a message from an unknown person, who expressed her love in this way”. He added: “thank you so much Marta and I hope to see you on day face to face, to thank you myself”. “This was a wonderful experience which taught us to what extent invaluable humanity can be made possible through a simple piece of paper. When words and shapes are expressed in this way, without limits or restrictions, they have the power to explain the compassionate relationship that is possible between human beings,” said Alaa Arbash, CEO of URDA Netherlands. At the end of a very successful first day [its ok}the messages of Syrian children who had replied to the Dutch messages were shown. There were sentences expressing their appreciation towards the initiative and also some drawings translate their feelings of happiness. The event kicked off with Judith Kroon [speaker of URDA NETHERLANDS] who presented URDA and its goals followed by a speech by Maisa Alhafez, URDA Netherlands´ event manager. Maisa talked about the positive impact this initiative has had on Dutch people and gave details about their own interaction with the event. After this, the program manager of URDA Lebanon, Jihan Alkaisi, arrived from Lebanon and talked about the feelings of refugees, their reactions to the messages, and the influence of these initiatives on supporting refugees and people in need in war-affected areas. After this, a Dutch clown called Olala performed a live show. The show was watched live by Syrian refugees on a big screen via Skype. This was followed by an oriental music show by Mr. Safi Alhafez, a Syrian artist, who travelled from Spain especially for the event. The music performance was in cooperation with Mrs. Maisa Alhafez and Mr. William Diwana [Syrian actor].