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explore: The Art of Healing Violence
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Taught how to express their feelings with shapes and colors, the children at the Queen Rania Family and Child Center in Jordan use paint, brushes, and paper to build confidence in their emotions and discover their dignity and identity. The art program, along with other activities such as group yoga and drama class, teaches the children to trust themselves, and builds the self-confidence necessary to deal with traumatic experiences like child abuse and domestic violence. 

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Segment 1

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explore
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The mission of explore is to champion the selfless acts of others
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explore went on a philanthropic fact-finding mission to Amman, Jordan to discover the healing power of self-expression.
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The Art of Healing Violence
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
Amman, Jordan. A place of intriguing contrasts. A place where ancient Roman ruins rest alongside the bustle of a modern Arab city. It's a cosmopolitan hybrid that embraces both the old and the new. Today, we are going to visit the Queen Rania Family and Child Center, a community center that synthesizes ideas from around the world, to help the children of Jordan transcend abuse, build identity, and find their inner voice.
SAMIA BISHARA [Director, The Queen Rania Family and Child Center]
The Queen Rania Family and Child Center: it started in 2005. This center was opened to prevent child abuse, through empowering children and their families.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
Is child abuse a big issue here in the community?
SAMIA BISHARA
It is an issue that we have to face, and we have to work to prevent it.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
I've seen some beautiful paintings around your center. What's the connection between art and the child? How do you use art to help children?
SAMIA BISHARA
It is another language. It is a global language. Every child can paint and can draw. When he draws, he expresses his feelings. And no one can come and say, "These are not your feelings." Through working on their self-esteem, we believe that they can protect themselves more. How we face this social problem is through an Arab model that depends on the international theories in psychology and social work. But we take from these theories what suits us here.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
What do you teach here at the school?
TAROUB MALHAS
I do, I'm in charge of the interactive library. It's a dynamic place. I like to say colorful. Because they get really bored if you just stand there and lecture. So it has to be a little bit of acting, a little bit of drawing, a little bit of, you know, just pictures and asking and ... it's so much more exciting when you ask them and they come up with the answer.
TAROUB MALHAS & CHILDREN
When you are threatened, what feelings do you experience? / Fear. / Yes! Fear. / And danger! / Yes, and danger. Exactly. Bravo.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
Today you were teaching a bullying class?
TAROUB MALHAS
Yes, this is one of the programs. It's called No More Bullying in Schools.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
How does it work?
TAROUB MALHAS
I showed them a picture of a boy trying to convince a girl to smoke. And they were interacting with me. OK, what can this girl do in this situation?
CHILD
She can tell the other students that he has a problem with smoking.
TAROUB MALHAS
Great answer.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
Peer pressure is a challenge for teenagers everywhere. I did a little role-playing with Taroub to get the gist of her interactive teaching.
TAROUB MALHAS
Be very sure of yourself. Don't think twice about saying no, because if you say yes once, you'll probably be very easy to convince afterwards.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
Want a cigarette?
TAROUB MALHAS
No, thank you.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
You sure? Come on, it's cool, smoke one with me.
TAROUB MALHAS
I wouldn't want to, but you should know that it's very bad for your health and you should quit.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
Come on, all our friends are smoking. Just one.
TAROUB MALHAS
Well, no. Thank you. And if you're a good friend, you would know that it's bad for you, and it's bad for me. So there you go.
SAMIA BISHARA
We have a special program, it is in the drama workshop. It is called Who Am I?
ADEEBA HEJAZI
My name is Adeeba. I'm a drama trainer in the Queen Rania Center. We teach the children how they can reflect their feelings through their bodies, how they can move.
ADEEBA HEJAZI & CHILDREN
When I count to three, you will speak in what kind of voice? / Loud. / One, two, three. [shouting]
ADEEBA HEJAZI
They jump, they dance, they have space here to talk and share their stories, their feelings, their sadness, their happiness.
ADEEBA HEJAZI & CHILDREN
I asked you to draw something ... with what? / Two hands. / Yes, your two hands. What did you imagine? / I drew a baby carrying a flower. / And you? / I drew a girl that is lost in the woods, in which there are wild animals.
ADEEBA HEJAZI
They feel comfortable about themselves. They trust themselves more. They believe in themselves. They start knowing themselves more. They're proud of themselves.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
As my tour of the center continued, I discovered another group of kids, practicing something that I knew I really needed. Meditation. I need a meditation. Can I join?
TEACHER
Take a deeper breath ... breathe. OK, again ... breathe. Let's breathe for our souls. Now sit on the floor cross-legged.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
We in the West could learn a lot from this place. We teach our children history, math, science. But when was the last time we sat with them and helped them to be calm? Just taught them how to breathe.
SAMIA BISHARA
We think that art, it has a power. It has a very important power in expressing ourselves. Especially children. We want children to express themselves freely. Free. We want them to have this skill, because skilled children can protect themselves more. So we try to use tools, friendly tools and creative tools, with children, to express themselves. And our main objective is to prevent child abuse through activating each Jordanian citizen's role. This way we can create a common culture of child safety.
CHARLES ANNENBERG WEINGARTEN
The Queen Rania Family and Child Center is a remarkable place. I saw influences from all over the world put into practice here. All embedded in a proud Jordanian culture.
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explore
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Never stop learning ...
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With the support of the Annenberg Foundation, explore has made funding possible to: The Queen Rania Family and Child Center
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To learn more: Jordan River Foundation www.jordanriver.jo
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[end credits]