Fearless Living in Jordan

You might wonder what this beautiful, blond, self-help author and this grey-bearded, Syrian refugee have in common.

Years ago, before Oprah, before Starting Over, before she was America’s #1 Life Coach, Rhonda Britten and I were friends.  Even then, as a young, 20-something, she was full of wisdom and optimism.

I remember being amazed at her beautiful, rented apartment painted in feminine colors and angels.  She replaced the industrial shades with soft, white curtains.  Saving my dollars, it never occurred to me to spend my money to decorate someone else’s property.

Her answer has always guided me,

I don’t know how long I will live here, but I want this space to be my home.  Having the colors I love makes me feel like it is mine.  When I open the door, I feel safe and warm.

During the Salam Neighbor filming in Jordan, people have shown their make-shift classrooms and sleeping mats inside of their UNHCR tents.  The camp’s desert sameness is a bit dreary.

fearless living jordan salam neighbor fountain zaatari camp

The other day, three, red-haired boys appeared and pulled Zach and Chris’ hands.  They led them through the tents to a beautiful fountain their father had built in the middle of the Za’atari Refugee Camp.

An innovative recycler, Ziyad has decorated their camper, planted a garden and built a bread oven.

As he told Zach and Chris his story, he explained his efforts by pointing to his sons and saying,

I don’t know how long we are going to have to live here.  I want my family to feel at home.

Regardless of how temporary our lives might be, our hearts are filled with joy when we feel we are at home.  Creating beauty amidst the ugliness in the world is Fearless Living.

ABOUT ZIYAD AND SALAM NEIGHBOR

You can read the entire posting called Neighbors of Za’atari Part Two – Ziyad. at Livingonone.org.

What does the daily life of a Syrian refugee really look like?

In partnership with 1001 MEDIA, Living on One founders Chris and Zach have just launched Salam Neighbor. They are on a bold, immersive journey into the heart of the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis. From January 19th through February 15th, Chris and Zach will live alongside refugee families in Jordan to uncover the daily realities, struggles, successes and dreams of displaced Syrians.

Chris and Zach can’t do it without your participation! As they film they will be releasing weekly blogs and live-stream hangout sessions to hear and help answer your most pressing questions about the humanitarian crisis and life as a refugee.

Join the Salam Neighbor film and journey. Learn about the humanitarian crisis. Take action to change the world!
www.salamneighbor.org

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Cheese Versus Beans

I am comparing the UNHCR refugee lunch to the Wadi Rum, sack lunch my Bedouin guide gave me when I was in Jordan.

We both got tuna.  What I wondered was whether Zach and Chris had a guide who taught them how to use the tuna can lid as a knife?

As a paying tourist, I got an imported apple and plastic plate.  And my lunch was all mine.  I didn’t share my cheese with anyone.

Looking at the refugee lunch, it struck me, is it possible a family of four can live on that can of beans?

You can read all about Zach and Chris eating their lunch at Registering as Refugees.

 ABOUT SALAM NEIGHBOR

What does the daily life of a Syrian refugee really look like?

In partnership with 1001 MEDIA, Living on One founders Chris and Zach launched Salam Neighbor. They are on a bold, immersive journey into the heart of the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis. From January 19th through February 15th, Chris and Zach are living alongside refugee families in Jordan to uncover the daily realities, struggles, successes and dreams of displaced Syrians.

Chris and Zach can’t do it without your participation! As they film they will be releasing weekly blogs and live-stream hangout sessions to hear and help answer your most pressing questions about the humanitarian crisis and life as a refugee.

Join the Salam Neighbor film and journey. Learn about the humanitarian crisis. Take action to change the world!

www.salamneighbor.org

Salam Neighbor – Hello Neighbor

1001Media Mohab Khattab Salam Neighbor leaving for Jordan to film

I just dropped my Mojo off at the airport.  Carrying two extra bags of winter clothes, he is on his way to Jordon.

His first stop is Amman to meet American filmmakers, Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple and Sean Leonard, the creators of  Living on One.  They flew in from California.

Why?

Zach and Chris want to say “Salam Neighbor” to the 570,000 Syrian refugees.

On January 19th, he will drive them and their Jordanian translator, Ibraheem, north, five miles past the Zaatari Refugee Camp, to the Syrian/Jordanian border.  There, in the middle of the wintery desert, he will drop them off, and they will walk away with the clothes on their back and a camera.

You might be asking, “What kind of evil plot is he involved in?”

The Jordanian government and the UN have given Zach, Chris, Sean, and Ibraheem permission to become a refugee for the next month.  Like a half-million Syrians, they will walk away from the bombs to the the fourth largest city in Jordan, the Zaatari Refuge Camp.  Joining the long-line, they will be checked in, given an UNHCR tent, a ration card and, maybe, a blanket.  Sean will film everything and post to YouTube.

Why have they given this opportunity when international reporters have not?

Because these extraordinary, twenty-somethings proved in Living on One that they are willing to take themselves out of their comfort zone and live in unimaginable circumstances.

The state of Syria is currently unimaginable.  And the refugees keep crossing into Jordan.  No one knows how or when it will end.  No one knows what these young men are going to encounter.  Security measures have been put into place but Zach and Chris want the full experience: getting tossed out of their home; crossing a border; and setting up a new life in a UN refugee camp.

Salam Neighbor is not just a film, but a social action campaign.  Generous donors will give $1 for every Facebook LIKE.  The funds will be distributed between UNHCR, Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee

On January 19, they will leave Amman and journey north.  Zaatari will be their home-away-from-home until just after Valetine’s Day, February 15th.  

I invite you to stay abreast of how Zach and Chris fare during this winter. They are already tweeting @livingonone and put up blogs on their website.

You can participate by sharing Salam Neighbor on your FB, Twitter and Instagram accounts.  And in your nightly prayers, send your wishes for Salam to the Syrian refugees and their Jordanian hosts.

ABOUT SALAM NEIGHBOR AND LIVING ON ONE

What does the daily life of a Syrian refugee really look like?

In partnership with 1001 MEDIA, Living on One founders Chris and Zach have just launched Salam Neighbor.

They are on a bold, immersive journey into the heart of the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis. From January 19th through February 15th, Chris and Zach will live alongside refugee families in Jordan to uncover the daily realities, struggles, successes and dreams of displaced Syrians.

Chris and Zach can’t do it without your participation! As they film they will be releasing weekly blogs and live-stream hangout sessions to hear and help answer your most pressing questions about the humanitarian crisis and life as a refugee.

Join the Salam Neighbor film and journey. Learn about the humanitarian crisis. Take action to change the world!

www.salamneighbor.org

56 Days $56 Dollars

Anyone reading my posts can tell that 56 Days $56 Dollars has nothing to do with me.

The title refers to young filmmakers and change-makers, Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple and Sean Leonard.

During university, they were curious how 1.1 billion people manage to live on $1 a day.  They decided to explore extreme poverty by going to Pena Blanca, Guatemala and living on $1 a day for 56 days.  They filmed their experiences and uploaded them to YouTube.

Watching the young men learn to grow radishes, manage a tiny, volatile budget and waking up covered in flea bites was only part of the story.  The rest was about the friends they made in Pena Blanca who taught them how to add fat to their diet, take out a microloan and bargain in the market.

When they returned home, 700,000 YouTube hits convinced them they had something worthwhile to share.  Their experiences became Living on One, a full-length documentary.  The film and the post-production tours are a great demonstration of how a small group of people can absolutely make a huge impact and help improve the lives of others.

Inspiring, not only because of their willingness to give up their American lives and literally walk 1,000 miles in the shoes of another, Living on One shows us how Gen Ys combine their passions, idealism and social media in new and constructive ways.  It is a lesson for those of us who ask our kids, “Do you watch anything useful on YouTube?

It is not enough to simply watch the film.  You must click through to see their social impact campaign and what has grown out of their efforts.

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