Allyson Hawkins (Jordan)

Allyson is a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she is pursuing a master's in Human Security and Gender in the Middle East. Prior to Fletcher, Allyson spent two years in Tunisia teaching English with AMIDEAST, learning Arabic at the Bourguiba Institute for Modern Languages, and travelling. She also worked for Layalina Productions, Inc., a DC based nonprofit that produces award winning films and television series that aim to bridge the divide between the Arab world and the United States. At Layalina, Allyson served as Coordinating Producer and Production Supervisor for "Yemeniettes," a documentary that follows a team of teenage girls as they strive to break barriers of traditional Yemeni society through entrepreneurship. She is incredibly excited to return to Jordan, where she first studied abroad in 2010, and learn more about the issues facing Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Amman through working with the Collateral Repair Project. Allyson is originally from New Hampshire, and holds a BA in Government from Smith College in 2011. After her fellowship, Allyson wrote: "The training I received from AP ensured that I would be able to contribute to my host's efforts in a meaningful way. Knowing that I was able to build capacity and contribute to sustainable programs made my fellowship experience not only useful for my host, but rewarding for me."



Refugees’ Art to Travel to America

18 Aug

Yesterday was the final meeting of the Hope Workshop for their first advocacy quilting project! The women viewed each other’s work and shared ideas and thoughts about the experience. They agreed they would like to see the embroidery, a partnership between CRP and the Advocacy Project, become an annual endeavor. The embroidery required serious focus, and helped them concentrate their efforts on a productive project that will help them share their stories with the world.

Shatha, the coordinator of the Hope Workshop and also a Project Manager at CRP, says that in the past, the largest project the collective worked on was their annual hat sales. “It has been great for income generation and when we did the hats, the membership of the Hope Workshop grew,” she says. Crochet is a skill many women in the collective are already familiar with, she explains, and it was not time consuming or difficult for them to make the hats, which sell very well in Amman during the winter. “But,” Shatha explains, “we can’t make hats all year!”

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Admiring everyone’s work

AP’s quilting project came just in time to fill this void. The momentum and energy from the women, along with their incredible patience and skill, made the project come to life. Next, the squares will travel to America, where they will be assembled by a group of Boston-based quilters into two quilts. One quilt will be used specifically for exhibition, traveling to universities, museums, and galleries both in the U.S. and in Jordan. The second quilt will be for sale, and the money from the sale will go back to the women themselves and to the collective to help fund future Hope Workshop projects.AP’s quilting project came just in time to fill this void. The momentum and energy from the women, along with their incredible patience and skill, made the project come to life.

Next, the squares will travel to America, where they will be assembled by a group of Boston-based quilters into two quilts. One quilt will be used specifically for exhibition, traveling to universities, museums, and galleries both in the U.S. and in Jordan. The second quilt will be for sale, and the money from the sale will go back to the women themselves and to the collective to help fund future Hope Workshop projects.

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The embroidery is complete!

“I like how this project was organized,” Shatha says. “Maybe it will take time for the quilt to sell, but the women will see the returns. I could tell they were very happy to participate, and through the project they were able to express their feelings, talk about their memories and where they are from. We’d like to continue.” Please follow the Hope Workshop blog to see pictures of the quilt squares and read the stories of the women who produced them. The stories and photographs will be published soon!

Posted By Allyson Hawkins (Jordan)

Posted Aug 18th, 2016

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