Muslims and Christians have lived side by side in harmony in Jordan for centuries. In Jordan, churches are built right next to mosques, and it is a local tradition for neighbors to celebrate Eid and Christmas together. Everyone enjoys iftar gatherings during Ramadan and the lighting of Christmas trees. Since words cannot fully define “interfaith,” the YES alumni in Jordan decided to express what it means to them through art.
In commemoration of Interfaith Harmony Week, which King Abdullah II first proposed in 2010, YES alumni in Jordan held an online art contest, with categories including drawings and paintings, short stories, videos, poems, and music. From January 18 to February 3, the contest was open to both YES and English Access Microscholarship alumni. The alumni used this opportunity to convey the interreligious harmony that Jordanians experience through various modes of artistic expression.
There were 13 submissions in total, including three from YES alumni Osama Daoud, Farah Abawi, and Dalila Sarhan. All the submissions were shared with Nancy Abaza, the Cultural and Professional Exchanges Alumni Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy, who selected the winners.
Osama Daoud won first place with his video that highlighted how Jordanians live together in harmony. In his video, Osama shares, “Both Muslims and Christians here (in Jordan) respect each other’s mosques and churches, and freedom of worship in God in any way they perceive. Because at the end of the day, we walk the same streets, we eat the same food, we attend the same schools and colleges, and most importantly we share the culture, and what unites us is love.”
Farah Abawi won second place with a painting expressing unity amongst world religions. All the winners’ submissions were posted on the YES Alumni Jordan Facebook page to share Interfaith Harmony Week and to spread awareness of how important and valuable it is to live in harmony, putting all our differences aside.
We are proud of how our YES alumni seek to promote world peace and unity through artistic means!
Watch Osama’s first-place video here!
Osama Daoud (YES 2018-2019, Jordan, placed with AFS-USA in Blue Springs, MO)
Farah Abawi (YES 2018-2019, Jordan, placed with PAX in Shattuck, OK)
Dalila Sarhan (YES 2019-2020, Jordan, placed with PAX in Black River Falls, WI)