In Jordan, coffee is much more than a drink. It’s a traditional sign of respect, a way to bring people together. Qahwah sādah (welcome coffee) is black and cardamom flavored. Deeply ingrained in Jordanian culture, qahwah sādah provided to guests is a sign of hospitality and friendship.
At Questscope, we have our own virtual welcome coffee tradition. Every month, we invite our friends from the U.S. to join with our friends in the Middle East to engage in conversation and learning—bright and early over virtual cups of coffee. Even though we’re worlds away, we can build bridges together.
Below you’ll find recordings of some of our past Welcome Coffee sessions. Enjoy, and see you for coffee soon!
Meet Sherein and Alaa: Two Women Leaders in Za'atari Refugee Camp
Sherein and Alaa are two Questscope volunteers living in Za'atari Refugee Camp. During this Welcome Coffee session, they tell us about their personal journeys to and within Za’atari, their work at the Questscope Youth Center, the unique challenges as women in Za’atari face, and how women themselves are contributing to making Za’atari a safer environment for all.
Muthanna Khriesat: Back from Yale
In this session, CEO Muthanna Khrieset shares about his experiences at Yale during a semester-long fellowship program in December 2021 , and his first trip to Jordan after the fellowship. Muthanna’s four-month experience at Yale was his first extended time away from Questscope in 23 years. Muthanna speaks about why those four months were so game-changing, what he learned from other fellows, what he and Questscope brought to the table, and how his understanding of the world around him was challenged. The people, insights, and experience at Yale will help shape the future of Questscope over the next few years.
The Me/We Program
For this session we had the privilege of listening to our Syrian volunteers, Amjad and Wa’ed, as they discussed our “MeWe Syria” project. The project encourages the elderly in Za’atari to talk about Syria to a generation that has never known it.
At the core of ‘MeWe Syria’ is the belief that the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves shape how we treat ourselves, each other, and the world. It uses communication tools, such as storytelling, to help refugees reframe their narrative, better communicate with themselves and the world around them, and heal from trauma.
Amjad and Wa’ed touched on themes such as isolation, identity, self-discovery, intergenerational communication, re-instating elderly people in their traditional roles, and how important it is to own your life story.
Ma’en is Questscope’s Jordan Country Director. In this session, he spoke about our work with marginalized boys in Jordan, and how it differs from our work with girls. He discussed the challenges that young men face (from early marriage to exploitation to child labor) and the unique societal pressures they are under when things go wrong with their families. Questscope’s unique approach helps these marginalized boys reclaim their childhood and build a better future for themselves.
Curt is Questscope’s Founder and Chief Vision Officer. During this session, Curt talked about the economics of being human—how we help vulnerable individuals emerge from dark places by giving them greater economic agency. Using his unique storytelling gifts, Curt explained how injecting even the smallest amounts of income can transform the dynamics of a family or community.