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The Carr-Petrova Duo #50Days4Refugees releases 'Smiles'

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Day 6: Smiles

The Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project, created and directed by the Carr-Petrova Duois 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 6: "Smiles" - 

Music has such an uplifting, community-building effect, that it was easy for us to forget amidst our camp visits, the abundance of darkness and sadness which we were so often staring in the face. It was hard for our psyches to consolidate the innocent smiles we saw together with the knowledge of what those smiles had already experienced at such a young age. Only one moment in our first trip ripped away the veil and gave us a half-second glimpse into reality.

On our second day in the Jelling Refugee Camp, we greeted the children as they entered the Jelling Red Cross School classroom, and were stopped in our tracks when a disagreement broke out between two of the students over who would have first dibs on playing the viola. We held our breath and felt our blood run cold as a chair flew threw the air and two incredibly sweet children with whom we had interacted the entire day before released furious tirades at each other in Arabic. As the teachers moved in to assuage the situation, one of the children released a scream none of us will forget. That scream told it all - there was more anger, sadness, frustration, and fury in that sound than any of us had ever witnessed. 

Things quickly went back to normal, and we carried on with our activities - but all of us were shaken by that brief glimpse into the sorrow and trauma that was and would continue to run underneath those innocent smiles for years to come...