Woke Up In Beirut
…to the cutting of the red tape for Tight-Knit Syria’s first (and overdue) blog post! We’re excited to have your eyeballs here with us today.
So let me start off with a brief introduction to the shadowy figures behind the project you have grown to love so much over the last two years or so 🙂
Let’s start with TKS co-director Genevieve (aka bestie) who joined the team a few months after my trip to Atmeh Syria in March 2013, and who has ever since been contributing her passion for peace building, international business and much needed brain cells. In November 2013, Gen and I went on a mission to a small remote town on the southern border of Turkey and Syria and literally MISSIONED back (plz pay special attention to the caps) with 50 pounds worth of heavy wool knit products on our backs which would soon make up the first TKS winter collection.
Here are pictures of some of the brief moments in Reyhanli where we weren’t sweating under the weight of wool products, having a panic attack or freaking out on each other:
Ya, you were never supposed to see these (Via the only hotel in Reyhanli):
AND WE’RE BACK to being professional (Solstice Winter Collection 2013):
It feels strange to finally have the opportunity to sit down and truly reminisce on where we came from, where we are and all the people who adopted our little project and helped raise it into something beautiful.
It is also truly a tricky thing to write a blog post more than two years after visiting the Olive Tree Camp in Atmeh Syria with my brilliant cousin Nousha (founder of Project Amal ou Salam), where we both had a transformative experience. This experience was then followed by many many more adventures, much like the one mentioned above.
The tricky part is not that these moments have faded in time, but instead remain solidified in my memory. I still remember as far back in the very beginning of the events in Syria, the confusion, depression and disconnect I felt as a Syrian born and raised in Canada, with family who still to this date live in Syria. I remember having not a sliver of hope for the country and not a spark of inspiration in how I could help ease the destruction of such historical scale. It was easier to just go to the mall.
That was until I was forced in the most beautiful way to frankly…get over myself.
I know not everyone has the opportunity to visit the Syrian people first hand and witness the stories of resilience, genius creativity and lust for life despite the darkness that follows them.
That’s why TKS was born. It was to bring to North America what I had the opportunity to witness first hand in Northern Syria, when that little girl shared with us a purple knitted dress of a masterpiece, and who went on to enthusiastically explain they needed more yarn!
If you haven’t yet, please check this link to learn more about the experience that started it all.
All smiles and Rainbow Hijabs (Olive Tree Camp, March 2013)
As I sit with an empty cup of cappuccino, with my very first plate of Hindbeh(?) with instrumental Arabic music playing in the background, I realize I forgot to mention at the beginning of this post, that’s me Dana on the left, and the one with the pearly whites on the right of the picture is Gen. Who btw PROMISED to come visit me in Beirut sometime over the next 6 months.
Wait. Beirut wha?
Well, that’s another blog post…
In warm and fuzzy solidarity