“For 51 weeks, all I look forward to is Camp Ayandeh,” exclaimed Arton Falahati this morning after breakfast. “And when camp is over, I always wish I could go back.”
Arton, a third year returning camper, got the ball rolling today with a short speech celebrating Camp Ayandeh’s fifth year anniversary.
“Camp Ayandeh is a family.” Arton said. “Anywhere you go in the world, you’ll know that you’re not alone.”
Following breakfast was a poetry workshop conducted by IAAB’s co-founder Narges Bajoghli and first-time counselor Arash Davari. The two facilitated a discussion on the purpose of poetry, and with collaboration from the campers, explored the work of Iranian poet Solmaz Sharif.
Arash and Narges next asked the campers to do some writing of their own. They were assigned the task of answering a question that one of Solmaz’s professors had once asked her: What does it mean to write with the knowledge that you were born with?
Later this morning, campers will participate in an activity entitled “The Game of Life”. The workshop is an interactive version of the board game “Life” where campers will be able to visit different stations to do something like go to school, find a job, or buy a home.
However, the twist to IAAB’s version of the game is that each person will represent a different ethnicity or character type. For instance, all ex-cons, high school drop-outs, one African American, and one Latino person will be denied at the education station.
The purpose of this workshop is to bring to life the realities that other people within different communities face, and to try to overcome obstacles.
Later today, I’ll keep you posted on what comes next!
TaaraSee photo above: Arash facilitates a discussion about poetry