Qais came to Jordan from Iraq about three years to escape Daesh, the so-called Islamic State. Before he left Baghdad, he was working in the electronics industry, repairing electrical appliances and welding. Since arriving in Amman, he has been looking for an outlet for his handyman skills and experience—and he finally found one at CRP.
Our new glass-drilling class allows refugees to carve decorations and engrave their names on glass pieces. It aims to develop artistic skills while giving the refugees practical, hands-on experience. This blend of practicality and artistry helps refugees to learn skills and process their emotions at the same time in a structured and supportive environment.
Originally conceived by CRP volunteer staff member Hekmat, CRP held its first glass-drilling class in early April. The course, called Glass Engraving in Arabic, meets on Sundays and Thursdays in two-hour sessions. Hekmat previously worked as an interior designer in Iraq. He worked closely with Hussam, another volunteer, to create a curriculum for the activity.
“The idea had been in my head for some time,” says Hekmat. The main goal of the course is to enhance the students’ handwriting, a skill widely applicable in various fields. The students practice writing each letter precisely before they start drilling. More broadly, the course represents an opportunity for refugees to try something completely new.
Originally from Aleppo, Arweej fled Syria six years ago because of worsening political circumstances. Once in Jordan, she began to develop a love for art and drawing. Though she thought she knew what to expect from the glass-drilling class, Arweej was pleasantly surprised. “It is a completely new experience for me artistically. I am confident that I will be able to take advantage of the skills I am learning and apply them when I eventually search for work.”
The course began with an introduction to glass-drilling, including the materials used and safety procedures, then Hussam demonstrated the process of drilling. At present, after only a few sessions, students are doing their own drilling and engraving under Hussam’s supervision.
Arweej says, “This class is both valuable and really fun—a rare combination.” For Qais, the class is a mix of old and new. Though much of the material is new for him, putting on the safety glasses and masks evokes memories of his work in Iraq. “Each time I put them on it feels really nice, like I am back in the old days.” Because of his positive experience with the class, he is looking forward to registering for other activities at CRP.
Hussam has also launched a calligraphy and painting class, and many of his students have joined that class as well.
Support Arweej, Qais, and the other class members to develop their skills. Show your dedication and donate now.
For every new or monthly donor of at least $10 right now, a generous supporter will give us a bonus of $100, up to $2500! Monthly donations help us to add new programs like glass-drilling and calligraphy class, as well as to keep them going in the future. Sign up here. Already a monthly donor and want to increase your contribution? Just fill out this form!