Aftab came to Jordan from Iraq with her mother in 2015. After a chance happening between her and Shatha, the Hope Workshop coordinator, on the street, Aftab learned about the collective and joined in immediately, along with other activities at CRP’s community center. Aftab says she joined because she wanted to spend time with other people and didn’t want to continue to stay at home alone.
“I like to talk a lot,” she says, “and working together with others has helped me become a better listener and communicator.” She has learned cooperation skills at Hope Workshop, in addition to the handicraft skills she’s developed since joining.
Aftab is incredibly talented at embroidery. Her first design shows a tent constructed out of an Iraqi flag. She says she chose this design because it symbolizes the reality for many Iraqis who are refugees. Inside the tent is a map of Iraq. She says the people of Iraq are looking for peace, but are unable to find it in their homeland.
Aftab’s second picture shows herself traveling with a bag. A plane overhead symbolizes her desire to travel westward and find opportunities for work. In Iraq, Aftab completed an engineering degree, but says she is unable to put it to use here. She hopes to get a job in her field one day and be able to support her family.
Meeting new people and building strong relationships with the CRP give Aftab hope. That, she says, and seeing people’s smiles at the center everyday. Participating in the Hope Workshop helps Aftab feel less lonely, she says, and gives her a productive way to spend her time.