Music is the way forward

It’s been almost a year since my husband and I moved from France back to the small town in central Arizona where we had been living before moving to Belgium five years earlier. Sound confusing? Welcome to my life. I have been moving every two months to two years since I left my parents’ house…

If a tree falls

Note: The identities of participants in a songwriting workshop I describe in this piece have been made anonymous. It’s been a long time since Sarah and I have been able to work together in person to offer poetry and songwriting from stories. The other day, I realized that it has now been more than two…

I am a story

Two years into the Covid pandemic, it is difficult to imagine a time before when Sarah and I could visit the Fedasil Arrival Centre each Monday and interact with people from all over the world. I met Sarah on my very first visit to the center in January 2017, and we met on Mondays until…

It’s a long story

Sarah and I are very excited that our project, “On the Move: Poems and Songs of Migration” has been chosen as one of five finalists for the 2021 Amateo Award for arts participation projects across Europe. Even with the added stress of travel during the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, we are planning (in shallah) to travel…

Mondays On the Move: The pigeon song

Just a week ago, Sarah and I were able to meet at the Fedasil Arrival Centre known as Petit-Château Klein Kasteeljte. It was our first visit to the center since the lockdown that began in March of this year. We were so thrilled to be reunited with a place that has so much meaning and…

Mondays On the Move: Laugh at life

I met Sarah at our poetry wall at Petit-Château this morning. We had not been to the center or seen our wall since the beginning of the lockdown in the middle of March. I was filled with such hope and joy, seeing the center again. Together, we posted the new poems, which Sarah had printed…

Mondays On the Move: The hand that hurts

Now that I am living in France, Sarah and I are not able to visit in person with each other every week as we have been so lucky to do these past several years. In anticipation of this paradigm shift, we performed our migration songs in special places around Brussels so we could share them…

Mondays On the Move: Hakuna matata

It’s time for another “Mondays On the Move!” This Monday, Sarah and I had planned to meet along the Belgium-France border but if this year (and life) have taught me anything it is not to get too attached to plans. Sarah was feeling under the weather so we decided to postpone to next Monday. Since…

Mondays On the Move: Give me a chance

This week’s “Mondays On the Move” song is called “Give me a chance.” We wrote this song with a young man from Yemen, who told us he was so grateful to Belgium for welcoming him. All he wanted was to be given a chance to give something back in return. This year has been a…

Mondays On the Move: Let me be free

It’s Monday and time for another “Mondays On the Move!” This week, Sarah and I quite literally on the move in different corners of the same country. Sarah is on holiday in the south of France with her family. I have been driving around the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais region with my husband and our big white…