How Ala'a's jouney started with Cross Cultures
Ala’a Boshmaf from Amman, Jordan, has a passion for working with people from challenging backgrounds and bringing a smile to their faces. She started working with the Cross Cultures program as an office staff member, primarily working with youth.
“I got all the information and data that shows where we are and the sad and happy facts we faced,” says Ala’a of her behind-the-scenes role in the program.
Two experiences that deeply affected Ala'a
Ala’a’s journey with the program has been emotional, particularly in her work with Syrian refugees. She describes two experiences that deeply affected her. The first was in the Zaatari refugee camp, where she saw a small girl dragging her young, disabled brother to come and play. “That was an eye-opening experience, so emotional and deeply affecting,” Ala’a recalls.
The second experience was in a small town near the Syrian borders, where she witnessed shelling and explosions in Syria. “I was extremely scared and felt helpless while the people and the kids were looking with curiosity only,” says Ala’a. “A child said, ‘we are used to these sounds, why are you so afraid?’ A child is used to the explosions! How sad this life is!”
Despite the challenges, Ala’a believes that the Cross Cultures program has positively impacted the communities it serves. “Cross Cultures gave chances for people who need it and brought joy and peace for the youth, kids, and parents, for the refugees and the host community at the same time,” she says.
We can be the change
Ala’a believes that sport is essential in bringing peace between people, particularly children. “When there’s a ball on the ground, they can negotiate, plan, cooperate, and become friends,” she says. “The same for the parents, when they see that no matter what the background is of the other kids or the coaches, they all can enjoy a good play and learn to accept the differences. Here we are talking about social improvement and change.”
For Ala’a, working with Cross Cultures has been more than just a job. “It was a life experience and a continuous lesson on how hard life can be, thus how strong people are,” she says. She hopes the program will continue to bring people together and foster peace in the world. “We can be the change,” she says.
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Ala’a’s story of resilience and dedication to making a positive impact through Cross Cultures is truly inspiring.
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