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A Real-life life story about resilience: Mohammad Qusam Ghouzlan

Written by Chantal Nerima

Mohammad Qusam Ghouzlan is a circus trainer who helped Finn Church Aid start a circus school in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan two years ago. Over 80,000 refugees live there.

At the beginning, circus school took place in a refugee tent. Today, the kids train in a padded floor hangar divided by a curtain — boys on one side, girls on the other. Children and youths in the camp need a way to unwind and focus their attention on something positive. The circus school gives them hope for the future. It teaches them that it’s OK to make mistakes, and together they learn to trust each other and work as a team.

“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” ― Angela Duckworth

Experts say that children’s limbic systems become paralyzed in war situations. Sometimes, in the middle of an activity, some of the children seem to forget what they’re doing, or they’ll lose focus and stop listening to instructions. But teachers like Mohammad, and the work of the circus school, help give them focus. It also helps release war traumas and the energy that builds up in young people forced to live in a small space.

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” ― Margaret Thatcher

.People like Mohammad, and the circus school, are one of many efforts to help give Syrian refugees hope and joy in their daily lives within the camp.

Click on the link below to test your knowledge.


Summit, W.H. (n.d.). 6 Stories Of Resilience From Around The World That Will Warm Your Heart. [online] BuzzFeed. Available at:

Erieau, C. (2019). The 50 best resilience quotes. [online] Driven App. Available at:

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