Dubomedy Team Take 'Clowns Who Care' Classes to Refugee Camp

Young Syrian refugees in Jordan receive performing arts and visual arts classes

Ali Al Sayed in Jordan
Mina Liccione
By Adam Grundey
Jul 05, 2014

Dubai-based husband-and-wife comedy duo Ali Al Sayed and Mina Liccione recently organized a two-day workshop for Syrian children in Jordan’s Sahab refugee camp. The couple ran a similar event at an orphange in Uganda last year, and, says Al Sayed, had since been searching for the right opportunity to do an art camp for Syrian refugees.

“Obviously, in the camps, there’s a lot of frustration,” Al Sayed says. “So we thought, ‘Why don’t we take our art camp there, and put everybody in a good mood and teach them a few things that they can do after?’”

The couple, along with visual artist Sol Abiad and several volunteers, set up two classrooms, one for performing arts and one for visual arts.

There was, naturally, a lot of improvisation involved, both in the planning and execution. “It was very exciting to see the different age groups and how they jumped in,” Al Sayed says. “They were really, really interested and it was a lot of fun.” From clown routines, to drawing, dancing, making hats and goggles out of junk, to percussion lessons, around 350 children attended over the two days they were there. “It’s something very positive, and it brings in a creative angle [to their lives].”

The couple plan to run further self-financed workshops in camps “at least once a month,” he continues. The expense is worth it: “You look back,” Al Sayed explains, “and you realize you’re probably getting [even] more out of this than they are.”