Out Of The Box: Love After Love.

Updated: Nov 19




We landed in Amman in August, but our sea shipment from Canada only made it to Jordan a few days before Christmas. Over the holidays we unpacked, and finally settled in our peaceful and charming home in the Levant.


With all boxes undone, we were left with much cardboard to recycle. We posted an add on social media. The boxes were up for grab for reuse. Many takers popped in my inbox. Muna was fast. She got first choice. When her husband dropped by to pick up the goods, he informed us that the boxes would be repurposed into canvasses, for his wife enjoyed painting on large pieces of cardboard. We were pleasantly surprised and asked him to let us know and send us an invitation, should Muna ever choose to exhibit her work.


After few weeks passed, we had forgotten about the episode. Then one day we received an invitation from Muna. She had decided to stay away from painting this time. Instead, she had turned her living room into an imagination room and used the cardboard to make a décor and some costumes for a kid play. She was inviting us for the first rehearsal. The minute we stepped in her home, we found ourselves surrounded by a dozen children laughing, dancing and singing. We were immediately invited to join in the spontaneous play. Joyful souls. Shinning eyes.





Back in America, we have an adoptive family and an adoptive dad. His name is Jake, a Navajo medicine man, a Purple Heart Vietnam veteran, and a much-loved healer and messenger of peace in his community in Pennsylvania. Before we took off to the Middle East, we sat with him in a sweat lodge ceremony to receive his blessing. As he looked into the fire, he said to me: “Dominique, I am very grateful for your support to my daughter Ruhiya in this new chapter of her life. In the beautiful land of Jordan, you will soon find your footing. Your peculiar ways of being and doing will be well received”. I welcomed the encouraging words of wisdom with gratitude but was left a bit puzzled by the mystery. When I picked up the maracas and started to connect, sing and dance with the kids in Muna’s imagination room, I understood what Jake had seen in the fire for me.





The moms, who had been quick and keen to volunteer support, made for a delighted and passionate audience before their little ones. Macadi, a composer and singer, wrote the lyrics of a song for the play. Samah, a dabke dancer, will teach the traditional dance steps to the kids. Rania, an entrepreneur with a purpose, will host the premiere in her bookstore for the youth on Rainbow street in the spring.


A couple of days after the rehearsal, Muna sent us a message with a few pictures, and informed us that the kids had given me two nicknames: “the man who speaks English” and “the funny uncle”. She also included a poem by Derek Walcott she thought could well find its way into The Book of SO WHAT.


Thank you, Muna. We are grateful for your powers of re-creation and for the many shinning eyes that surround you.


db


© Dominique Bel, 2020. All Rights Reserved in all Countries.

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Love After Love


The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was yourself. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.


Derek Walcott (1930-2017)


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Ya Khyam يا خيام


Lyrics by Hani Nadim, Voice and Music by Macadi Nahhas

Video produced by The Big Heart Foundation


هذة الاغنية هي اهداء من فريق العمل و كل من ساهم بظهوره و اتمامه لكل اللاجئين في بقاع الأرض

نتمنى ان تنتهي الحروب في العالم و ان يعود كل صاحب ارض الى ارضه ووطنه وحياته

كل الحب

مكادي نحاس


"This song is a gift from the team and everyone who contributed to its emergence and fulfillment for all refugees on the ground ... We hope that wars in the world will end and that every landowner returns to his land, country and life. All the love" - Macadi Nahhas


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From WHY? to SO WHAT?

Welcome to the 4th circle.


With the climate crisis, the rise of inequalities, the crumbling of our democracies or world economies coming to a standstill because of a global pandemic,

purpose and inspiration matter more than ever.


As Simon Sinek framed it quite well, and with a sense of urgency, we need to put the question of WHY at the centre of the “Golden Circle”, before WHAT and HOW.


Yet strange forces seem to be getting in the way, always.


For deep and significant change to happen, how about starting to mend the fences and restore the much-eroded trust in our organizations, within our communities and in ourselves.


For this, we the trick and the - sometimes hard - work is to move beyond WHY, look at the periphery, and find in our hearts the strength to ask ourselves a forgotten and challenging question: SO WHAT?


The time has come to move from the 1st to the 4th circle.


It’s all in The Book Of SO WHAT.

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© Dominique Bel, 2020. All Rights Reserved in all Countries.


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© Dominique Bel, 2020. All Rights Reserved in all Countries.