The story & the glory: Reducing youth radicalism & violence in the Middle East

Questscope founder Dr. Curt Rhodes talks to Creative Associates about reducing youth radicalism and violence in the Middle East:

In a world gone awry in war and conflict, with few economic opportunities and degradation of social networks, youth are radicalized and sustained in their radicalization through their relationships: the way into radicalization is through relationships.

But so is the way out.

Every person has a story. Taking time to listen and elicit someone’s story is...MORE

A Safe Place

In moments of stress and tragedy, we look for a safe place. For Amer, 16 years old, that safe place used to be his school and his home in Syria.

 When his family left Syria to come to Jordan’s Zaatari camp, those safe places were ripped away from him one by one. He was not able to go to school. His father had been injured and lost his brother in the war. The stress his family felt was redirected toward him, and Amer was confined to home and often abused. His home, the only place he could go, was no longer a safe place at all.

 Amer used to love to study,...MORE

Reflection on 2014

The close of a year usually causes us to reflect on the past. Where have we been? What have we done?

For 9 million Syrians who have lost homes, education and family, the tendency would seem to be to look back—to long for the past, and all that was. When an emergency becomes a prolonged crisis, such as in Syria, the greatest need is for a response that helps the most vulnerable...MORE

Rawan's Story: Strength, Healing, Rebuilding

When is enough, enough?

For Rawan, a 14-year-old Syrian refugee, you could say enough was enough when she had to leave behind her school, her friends, and her home in Syria. She had just completed 8th grade and had the world at her fingertips.

Rawan’s mother led the family of four girls and two boys into Jordan. Alone. Their father had to stay behind in Syria. Instead of hanging out with friends and going to school like most teenagers, Rawan was left with a heavy burden of chores and the responsibility of caring for her siblings.

Feeling trapped,...MORE

Thoughts from Curt Rhodes

I’ve been spending a lot of my time lately with college students. During recent conversations at city pubs and coffee shops in Boston, I couldn’t help but think: young people have a lot of energy.

Their energy is wrapped up in many different areas. Channeled appropriately, it can change the world. The same holds true for young people in the Middle East—and there are a lot of them. No doubt, they have energy. The question is: how will they use it?

Youth in the Middle East are one of the most marginalized populations....MORE

Investing in the future: Questscope mentor talks to UNHCR about youth in the Middle East

"Youth are the spirit of life. They determine how developed or underdeveloped a nation is and are the key criteria in any community." (Zaher, Questscope Mentor Coordinator, Zaatari Camp)

Zaher is from the city of Daraa in Syria. At 25, his past is full of accomplishments: he has a bachelor's degree in history and education, and worked in Syria as a teacher. His future is full of dreams: to pursue a PhD, get married and have children. But when he came to Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp with his family, his view of the future took on a different shape. Now, he works for...MORE

Breaking the Cycle of Violence

The violence of war marks her short life. Marwa was born 15 years ago as a Palestinian in a refugee camp in Syria. There she had friends and could go to school.

War changed everything.

She is an orphan now, and a second-time refugee.  She watched as her parents were killed. Now, she watches her only surviving uncle struggle to feed 12 children. This is dangerous for Marwa. She fears that anything can happen to her.

The violence of war is brutal. It destroys and leaves ongoing...MORE

150 Syrian youth connected with mentors in Zaatari

“When we first met the boys, there was a lot of tension between them. They displayed verbal and even physical abuse against their peers.” (Farid, Questscope Syrian Mentor in the Zaatari refugee camp)

Syrian refugee youth have experienced trauma that most of us could never imagine. When the Syrian war first started, many witnessed the death of a family member or the destruction of their home. Now, as refugees, they experience trauma of a different kind. Most haven’t attended school in over 2 years. They are isolated, so they cling to anyone and anything around them to feel...MORE

Behind the Scenes: Music for Zaatari

In the spring, Questscope hosted communications workshops in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp through the MeWe Syria initiative. Our Syrian mentors and case coordinators learned about video production as a way to use communication to break down barriers and share the stories of triumph, resilience and hope that they see happening around them.

Fast forward to summer, when Questscope partnered with Music for Life International for a unique...MORE

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