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The Carr-Petrova Duo #50Days4Refugees releases 'Reality Check'

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The Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project, created and directed by the Carr-Petrova Duo, is a project designed to give voice and visibility, through music and film, to the lives and struggles of both local and international refugee communities, and to encourage audiences and artists alike to become connected and involved. Since August 2018, it has brought free, interactive classical music concerts and workshops to displaced populations while increasing awareness of and raising support for both U.S.-based and international refugee-aid programs. 

From August 12th to October 1st, 2019, The Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project, and the Carr-Petrova Duo are launching #50Days4Refugees - a social media campaign which walks through our past year of travels with the Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project from start to finish. We are releasing a single story/image/clip a day in order to give our followers the chance to virtually travel with us, meeting and engaging with the people, places, life-stories, cultures, music, and organizations we encountered along the way. Follow us daily as we share our journey and highlight the activities, strengths, and specific needs of the organizations we partnered with - along with what we learned about ways anyone anywhere can get involved. 

Day 7: "Reality Check"

Please meet our sweet, gentle, and very shy friend named Siha. Siha is an Egyptian from Kuwait awaiting asylum in Denmark. We were immediately drawn to Siha because of her deep, curious, thoughtful, and expressive eyes - and although she was very reserved upon our initial meeting, we were excited to watch her slowly start to open up after making music together and by the end even got to hear about her favorite song "Lille Petter Edderkopp" (AKA - "The Itsy Bitsy Spider"), her love of dancing, and how she would sit with her family in Kuwait listening to music all together in their livingroom in the evenings...  

Siha gave us another "reality check" moment on our second day when we were working with the students to design a "musical story" together. The students created the story, and we had to narrate it with the sounds that matched the characters and activities in the story. When we asked for a volunteer to draw what "happiness" might look like - Siha came up and drew a couple getting married (shown in the clip). 

When we all spoke later that night about the day's activities, this moment came up again - and we all simultaneously abashedly admitted how our pre-conditioned psyche's had actually expected a "refugee girl" to draw something more exotic and un-relatable to ourselves and our cultures. And instead, we were faced with a moment of seeing just how similar our new friend from Kuwait was to every other little girl we had ever met in each of our respective countries and cultures…