TURKEY. In honour of World Refugee Day on 20 June, magician Jamie Jibberish entertained a young audience in Turkey through an online Zoom performance.
Bringing joy to refugees. Jamie Balfour-Paul, 59, is often recognised by his stage name, Jamie Jibberish. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, he often traveled to the Middle East, visiting refugee camps on behalf of the charity program Magic for Smiles. He returns to Britain to seek more funding for his program.
As he mixes Arabic with English and calls it the “magic language,” he can engage and connect with children in refugee camps. He entertains through bilingual magic for children who are living in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and other conflict zones across the Middle East and Africa.
“Magic has huge potential but it’s almost untapped in the humanitarian world,” Jibberish told The National News.
Magic in the mainstream curriculum. Jibberish is also currently working with a partner organisation to integrate magic lessons into schools for refugee children. The current scenario has also encouraged him to make virtual teaching a permanent part of his charity work.
COVID in Camps.“I think the biggest concern of many people is that, once the virus gets into refugee camps, it’s just a hotbed – social distancing is almost impossible. A lot of the camps don’t have basic things like soap,” Jibberish expressed. Due to the pandemic hit, most charitable organisations suffer great difficulty in running them. Despite awareness and education, the availability of resources is the main problem, marking most camps as a significant high-risk category.