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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

Social Leadership and Integration through Media and Arts


"Before I wouldn’t know how to behave around people, how to interact with them… it was hard for me. The training allowed to communicate with people. I am now able to stand up for myself."

Nasreen Abu Shaqra is a shy, young woman from Akkar, in Lebanon. She is in charge of a project called Douma Akkar (the Dolls of Akkar). She works together with other young Lebanese who share a common drive to foster solidarity between refugees and local communities.

She describes the scope of the project and activities they are involved in: “There are nearly 100 children registered in our activities. We distribute gifts and play with them. With the Douma Akkar project we entertain the kids and we try to get them to have fun so they forget the problems they are facing.”

Through the FURSA project, funded by the Trust Fund, Nasreen undertook trainings on social leadership.

“We learnt project implementation, conflict resolution and what it takes to be a leader in society,” she adds.

Just like many others involved in this beautiful project, Nasreen believes that social cohesion and dialogue are best channeled through art and media. This is why she and her colleagues have heartily engaged in the organisation of creative and fun activities to strengthen exchanges between Syrian and Lebanese youth.

“It is an inclusive project, dealing with all segments of society. Girls and boys, Lebanese and Syrian youth alike.”

Nasreen also explains how deeply the projects has impacted her as a person:

“This project has changed me profoundly. It allowed me to start a new chapter in my life. At the end of the day, I am now able to prove that I can contribute to society as much as anyone else.”