The Benefits of Silence

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Learn About the Many Benefits of Silence

Al-Araby al-Jadid

6 May 2017

We live in a world full of sounds; some are melodious and others are noisy, but rarely do we experience silence. Is this important? Actually, it is. According to the website Psychology Today, silence has several benefits, below are some.

  1. Silence contributes the development of the brain. A 2013 study about the brain’s structure and functions showed that at least two hours of silence can lead to the development of new brain cells related to learning and memory.
  2. Noise affects our stress levels through increasing cortisol and adrenaline. A study in 2006 found that silence can decrease stress within just two minutes.
  3. Silence helps the body and mind relax more than listening to music, as indicated through lower blood pressure and an increase of blood flow to the brain.
  4. Periods of silence improve sleep.
  5. 20th century studies linked between noise pollution and higher percentages of heart disease and ringing in the ear (Tinnitus). The World Health Organization likened this pollution to a “modern plague”.
  6. Conor O’Shea, who interviewed 100 people on a retreat, found that they had increased levels of awareness and gave more time to reflection. Everyone should listen to their inner voice before making decisions.
  7. Silence helps increase our ability to think. This might seem obvious but often we find ourselves forced to finish a report amidst noise and some people study while listening to music; several studies have shown that this is not [productive for focusing].
  8. Caroline Myss says, “The soul always knows exactly what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to quiet the mind.” How to achieve that is up to you. For example, you can meditate for 10 minutes in complete silence and this might help you calm down and think of what to do. Give priority to what matters, then, the secondary details will be what you always wanted them to be, secondary.
  9. Abraham Lincoln says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” We must realize that silence is many times the best strategy, not jut for ourselves, but for others as well. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Before you speak, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial? Do I have to say this?

This is a translation of an Arabic report that appeared on Al-Araby al-Jadid.

The logo Orenda Tribe

The Orenda Tribe Turns Refugee Children’s Art into T-Shirts

Writing

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist”. Through introducing children in underprivileged communities and refugee camps to art and then printing that art onto T-shirts and sharing them with the rest of the world, The Orenda Tribe helps children discover art and the artist within. Orenda is “a mystical force present in all people that empowers them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives.” When asked.”Why Art?” The Orenda Tribe says:

Why art? Art is a neglected subject in most distressed communities although it is very important in building skills in children that will allow them to build a better future for themselves. Skills such as creativity, problem-solving, communication and confidence. Add to this, that art spreads smiles and happiness into children’s lives.

In addition to the art lessons given at Jerash refugee camp in Jordan, The Orenda Tribe has also held an art workshop for SOS Village mothers, art therapy sessions in cooperation with Art Therapy International Centre, and winter clothes drives for the children of the camp.

 

orenda tribe t-shirts

Photo credit: theorendatribe.com

 

Want to help The Orenda Tribe fund their art activities? Here‘s where you can a T-shirt.

To hear more about The Orenda Tribe from Zaid Souqi, watch this video from A Minute Marvel.

For more information visit The Orenda Tribe’s website and Facebook page.

 

ResQ Club: The Cool App from Finland on a Mission to Fight Food Waste

Writing

After bringing us Nokia phones and Angry Birds, Finland newest technological innvation is ResQ Club, a smartphone application and website that offers a solution to food waste. ResQ Club connects people looking for restaurant food and restaurants with a surplus of meals offered at a discount price. It’s a win-win situation where both parties save not just food that would have gone to waste, but also money and energy. The application uses your location to help you find a participating restaurant near you. Once you find the restaurant you would like to eat from a menu of the dishes on offer today and their prices are shown.  You can then arrange to pick up your meal at whatever time suits you.

According to its website, there are more than 400 participating restaurants (mostly in Europe) and more than 125,000 meals saved (40,000 kilograms of food!). That’s equal to 5,000,000 km of CO₂ emissions driven.

ResQ Club, can you please make your way to the rest of the world? And can the Arab world be your next stop?

Copy of resq_press1

For more information or to oder your next meal from ResQ Club: Visit ResQ Club’s website and Facebook page.

salzburg at night

Salzburg: More Than Just Mozart

Translations, Uncategorized

Original German text from dw video:

SALZBURG: MEHR ALS NUR MOZART

“Salzburg gehört zu den beliebtesten Reisezielen in den österreichischen Bergen, nicht zuletzt weil Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dort geboren wurde und gelebt hat. Touristenführerin Inez Reichl zeigt besondere Orte in Salzburg wie das Café Classic, das Museum der Moderne und die Steingasse, die nicht in jedem Reiseführer zu finden sind.”

***

Salzburg: More Than Just Mozart

“Salzburg is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Austrian mountains, not only because Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and raised there. Tour guide Inez Reichl shows us unique places in Salzburg, such as Cafe Classic, Museum der Moderne  (Modern Art Museum), and Steingasse (Stone alley), that cannot be found in every tour.”

Hotel Zaatari: A Short Film That Brings the Human Back to the Refugee

Uncategorized, Writing

Hotel Zaatari is a short film written and directed by two Jordanian filmmakers, Mais Salman and Zaid Baqaeen. The film shows four Syrians from the Syrian city of Daraa near the Jordan-Syria borders who settled in the world’s largest Syrian refugee Camp, Zaatari. With beautiful cinematography and poignant, poetic narration, we are introduced to 13-year-old Ali, 64-year-old Abo Abdo, 52-year-old Hayat, and nine-year-old Sarah. In 17 minutes, the word refugee is stripped of all the politics, the numbers, economics, and pity and the human is re-seen.

According to the film’s website, “the film aims to raise awareness and change perceptions towards the displaced Syrians, and shed light on their plights, fears, hopes and dreams. Challenging the notion of ‘the other’, the film hopes to express and reveal the core of what it is to be human, and what it is to be humane.”

Hotel Zaatari is not only a film but an initiative. Forty limited edition prints from Zaatari are sold to fund programs in the camp in association with Save the Children International.

Watch the film and visit the website.

Zakiya Kurdi Paints Women From Around the World Using Sand and Seashells

Uncategorized, Writing

Syrian journalist, scriptwriter, and now artist Zakiya Kurdi was watching TV one day when a report about an African artist who paints using sand came on. She was taken by the art form and began exploring and experimenting with it. Her first painting took several months to be finished. The process is quite lengthy; Kurdi begins by drawing with charcoal and colors the sand before using it in her pieces. Her portraits show women from different parts of the world. Although each is unique, what they share in common is that they all had a great effect on Kurdi, begging her to draw them.

Khaled Hourani's The Blue Figure. Darat Al Funun

Self-Rediscovery via Khaled Hourani’s Exhibition at Darat al Funun

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Rediscovering passion is rediscovering the self. Khaled Hourani’s A Retrospective exhibition nestled in the beautiful villa and garden that is Darat al Funun helped me rediscover that mind-captivating exhilaration and wonder at the beauty that surrounds us — the mind that thinks the art, the artist courageous enough to make the art, the Creator’s art: the bee pulled by the magnet of rosemary bushes and lavender, the sun as it warms the cold stone of the Roman columns standing tall in the backyard.

In this space of art and beauty one finds acceptance, universality; we are all one and the same, stripped of all the backgrounds that tell of differences.
That is the essence of Khaled Hourani’s newest work, The Blue Figure. By removing the refugee, resembled in the UNHCR logo as a blue figure, from its context, Hourani challenges our conception of a refugee. Seen in different settings: on a balcony, in the lap of a parent and in a tent, the figure’a individuality and humanness is returned. Each becomes one, all a part of the whole.
khaled hourani the blue figure

Photo credit: Dima Masri

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Photo credit: Dima Masri

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Photo credit: Dima Masri

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Photo credit: Dima Masri

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Photo credit: Dima Masri

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Photo credit: Dima Masri

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Photo credit: Dima Masri

Watch a report and interview on Al Ghad about the exhibition.