Aseel Tayah

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Bukjeh’s (Stories from Home) Children Book

What if, instead of being told to ‘Stay at Home’ you were forced to leave it?

This book shares what so many Refugees fleeing their homes from war and natural disasters feel, taking unpredictable journeys to unknown homes.

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I have decided to write a series of books about a brave and curious girl called Amal, which in Arabic means ‘hope’, who embarks on a journey to understand where people come from, and to discover the mysterious “other home” that she hears her family talk about so often.

Along the way, Amal explores different cultures and her exciting adventures include making friends in refugee camps, dancing with newly-arrived neighbours, singing new songs she learns and cooking with grandparents who long ago left their homes. She walks on their journeys, collecting their memories in her heart and asking questions to help children better understand how they can find their place in the world and to encourage migrant parents to talk about their own experiences.

Bukjeh’s Stories from Home has led me to collaborate with the exceptionally talented illustrator Kamil Adil and Children Education specialist Alaa Taieh to create the very first book in the “Amal’s Journey ” series by Christmas time.

Each year around the world thousands of parents migrate in the hope of securing a better future for their children. Many families do not have a choice and many leave behind a treasured way of life and generations of tradition. On arrival, faced with the enormous task of adapting into a new community, memories can fade and customs can be forgotten…

If you are anything like me, deep inside you have so many things to tell your children. You wish that they understood a little bit more about your culture and who they really are. When they say “but Mum, this is my home,” you are bursting to tell them everything and share all the feelings in your heart. But there are no words to explain!

Please support us if this is a story you would be happy to buy for your own family or a friend, or you would love to see in your child’s school library.

This is our first stage of research, deep in people’s journeys and experiences of leaving home, so we keep true to tell the stories with their owner’s permission and get the best outcome that will make us all proud.

Between July and September, we will interview people for their stories and record their experiences, the illustrator will develop the character and places the stories have taken place and together with the writer will work on the book to be ready around Christmas, so do not get any other gifts this year!

You can find out more about our work at Bukjeh.com.au
You can find out more projects Aseel’s previous projects at Aseeltayah.com

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Aseel is an important voice in the Australian cultural landscape. As a Palestinian artist/activist, Aseel has been instrumental in using her cultural practice to shed light on the experiences of those living in war-torn countries and conditions.

Aseel is a prolific art maker, drawing diverse participants into her orbit through the courage of her convictions and the power of her stories. She has created numerous new works such as Bukjeh and Lullabies Under the Stars, inviting communities into the experience of asylum seekers and refugees, through deeply personal and transformational multiart engagements.

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Marsden Szwarcbord Foundation

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Anam Javed

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Nikki Blanch

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Evelyn Tadros

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Amin Abbas

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Leigh Robb

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Omar Abdo

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Gabriele Rukas

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Maria Dimopoulos

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Tara Prowse

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Xian Hao Koh

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Julie Wright

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Tienyi Long

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Oonagh Remkes

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Collette Brennan

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Viv Rosman

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Links

Artists Website
http://aseeltayah.com