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A blast from Princeton!

We met the children and their mothers for the first time in the Arts Studio at Kadir Has University. We introduced ourselves to each other amidst much clapping. After some rearrangement of tables, art materials–clay squares, glue, little plastic tiles in a whole variety of colours–were brought in, and the kids started working on their artworks…

These involved arranging the tiles on the clay squares to form various pictures. Some of them were quite fast, others slightly less so, but with a little help and quite a bit of determination everyone created something nice. At the end of the morning we assembled all of them together to be fired, and then went for lunch.

The next week we had occasion to see some of the children again, plus a few others we had not met the first week, when they came over to Kadir Has to practise for and perform a percussion concert. We had to wait a while because they were stuck in traffic, but after a while they did come. We helped carry their drums up to the auditorium–there were a great many drums, as well as all sorts of small instruments: tambourines, castanets, maracas … They played mainly on the drums, with a teacher guiding them. One of them, playing a bass drum, was a particularly loud and enthusiastic musician. Practıce lasted for about an hour, then we took about an hour’s break. Then the concert started. The players really put  themselves into the music., and they really seemed to enjoy it. Towards the end of the concert, we all picked up maracas and joined them on stage.  And then they presented each of us one of the artworks they had made the week before–that was really nice.

Perhaps the mentally-handicapped are not really the same as we are, but  they no less  need and deserve friendship and attention.

Feng Zhu

Princeton University

A note from the Editor: 

Spending some time with our buddies from Tomurcuk Foundation and Princeton University was so fun! We believe that Tomurcuks felt the same… Thank you for sharing your memories! 


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