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Syria Crisis

Bringing comic relief to children in crisis

Three clowns from the Spain-based nonprofit organization recently performed for families in northern Jordan, where the IRC operates mobile health clinics and provides other support for Syrian refugees and Jordanians in need.

  • Clowns Nour El-Refai and Jenny Soddu from “Clowns Without Borders” in Sweden perform a hat trick for a group of Syrian children. The troupe performs various skits and tricks including slapstick comedy, juggling, acrobatics and dancing. They make sure to involve the children in each act. The professionally-trained Clowns Without Borders performers are volunteers and hail from all over the world. Photo: Timea Fauszt

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  • Refugee children can simply be children during the performance and enjoy moments unclouded by war, said Nalle Laanela (center), a clown from Sweden. “Here there’s a huge hunger for laughter.” Photo: Timea Fauszt

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  • The clowns also brought their show to the Mafraq home of a family from Damascus with 10 children: Three of the boys, Mohamad, 16, Hussain, 13, and Hassan, 10, suffer from a severe muscle disease that limits their mobility. “I was happy,” Mohamad said. “It was a dream for me to see real clowns, not only on TV.” Photo: Timea Fauszt

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  • The whole family was enraptured by the performance. “After the show, the youngest girl, Malaak, was trying to walk on her hands,” said the children’s mother. “And the other small children tried to copy the clowns’ moves. Photo: Timea Fauszt

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  • “These clowns have drawn a smile on my kids’ faces, and we’ve long missed this smile,” said her husband, his eyes filled with tears he explained were tears of happiness and love. “It’s my first time to feel that there are people who take care of us,” he said. Photo: Timea Fauszt

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