Holiday Cards 2010: Farouk's Story
Farouk, (whose name has been changed to protect his identity) is 10 years old. He has lived in Boise, Idaho since December 2009. Farouk, his two brothers, sister and mother all continue to deal with the trauma resulting from the violent conflict in their homeland and the day when warring militias attacked their village.
The attack happened when Farouk was seven years old. He remembers very little of what happened that day, only that masked intruders violently broke into his house, pointed a gun at his mother and dragged his dad outside where other men were shooting their guns in the air. “It was the loudest noise I ever heard,” he said. “My mother pleaded with them not to kill us, and even offered them money, but they were not interested,” he tearfully continues. “It was the last time I saw my father.”
Farouk continues to wonder what happened to his dad. He prays everyday for his father to miraculously find them here in Boise, refusing to believe that his father might not be alive. It is a hope shared by the entire family.
At school, Farouk is withdrawn. He talks very little and has difficulty concentrating. He struggles with making friends and often explodes angrily. He shared with a friend who then told a teacher, that he blames himself for not protecting his dad when the “bad men” invaded his home.
While in counseling, Farouk’s counselor discovered that art helps Farouk to speak about his life and his past. Many of his drawings are of his village home, soccer games and friends that he remembers. He remembers the bundled plastic bags from which they made soccer balls. He talks about finding friends at his new school who might enjoy playing soccer with him. “I can show them a few moves, like the kick flipping that David Beckham uses,” he says. His counselor was encouraged with how much Farouk opened up when he was asked to share some memories of his village.
As a way to continue the healing process, Farouk participated in a fabric art group with other students with similar ‘stories’. His art piece is featured in this year’s holiday cards project. He is excited to share his art and would like others to know that he sees his art as his personal “rescue.” When you share this gift with your friends, please remember other children like him who struggle with horrible memories.
Give a gift of “Rescue” to a refugee youth this holiday season. With each $12 donation you receive a package of 10 cards ($10 of which is tax deductible). Funds raised from the campaign will benefit the International Rescue Committee – Boise and the Morley Nelson Elementary School refugee program. To reserve please email Keziah Sullivan at Keziah.Sullivan@theIRC.org or Mary Ellen Frischmuth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The entire set of cards can be viewed on the following link Holiday Cards 2010