# New Hope  # New Story  # New Life 

Omar is a 12 year old Syrian boy living in El Cajon. We met on the Culture Exchange program week last year which was held for the Syrian youth by a local church in El Cajon. This year on Nowruz, a traditional Kurdish New Year celebration in March, we met again. He came up to us and simply asked, “when is the Sound of Color program? I am twelve already. I can sign up for it this year!” Immediately we recalled that last year he was the one urging us but failed to make it due to the limited space, and we had to screen out children who were under age 12. But this time he showed us with such confidence and unwavering hope. His pure and genuine hope for a life changing experience really melted down our hearts. We realized how precious the opportunity of making-art is to these young immigrants. We sense that other than their youthful curiosity, deep down in their hearts they are searching for new stories of their own, which hopefully can overwrite the sad and scary ones from the past. Here is a link of Yosef sharing part of his story after the art sessions last summer, It gives us a glimpse of what they are going through on this exodus journey.

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