The Stories of Syria: Art & Hearing Loss

By April 25, 2018 Resources

In April 2017, Entheos sent a group of audiologists and volunteers to Jordan to help those in need of hearing healthcare. Equipped with donated hearing aids, expertise, and enthusiasm, the group served men, women, and children who had experienced traumatic hearing loss from their war-torn country. Some of our own audiologists were there to help.

While they were helping those with hearing loss, Maggie Conroy, the director of programs at Entheos and an art therapist, found a stack of paintings hidden under a table.

“They were gorgeous paintings,” she says. “And they were done on the back of tent canvas.”

Maggie knows that art, especially for those who have experienced trauma, can help communicate feelings and emotions that might otherwise remain internalized. When children came to the healthcare clinic in Jordan, she provided art as therapy.

“We’re giving them an opportunity to play with these supplies while getting medical treatments,” Maggie explains. “Doing hearing aid impressions can be scary. Art serves as a reward and a safe place.”

This short-term therapy allows the children to be children, which is so essential at a time when war, grief, and pure survival have been paramount. While a child waits to be seen by an audiologist, Maggie and other volunteers spend their time keeping the children at ease. She remembers one boy in particular whose drawings made the group laugh.

“He drew all these kids with gigantic ears!” she remembers. “He was letting his mother know he wanted a little brother.”

The young boy experienced hearing loss and was treated by an audiologist. Through art and hearing healthcare, the team was able to help the boy communicate in ways he was never able to before.

Our own Dr. Patricia Reiff, who also went on the trip to Jordan, remembers a man she fit with hearing aids. While waiting, he spent his time creating art with the children. Although he had arrived discouraged and unable to communicate, he left with a thumbs up and smile on his face.

“The artwork helped him express himself, and his hearing aid helped him communicate,” Dr. Reiff says.

The art created by these Syrian children and adults has left a lasting impact on the group, who visited nearly a year ago. The drawings and the paintings tell their story. From losing their hearing because of a bomb going off in their village to watching their families die right before their eyes, these people have seen and experienced unimaginable things. Art has allowed them to say what words cannot do justice.

For almost two decades, Associates in Hearing has held a yearly seminar that allows us to communicate and share with our patients important information about hearing loss, hearing aids, and all things audiology. As partners with Entheos, we have a heart for seeing those without access to hearing healthcare receive the care they need so they can live a fulfilling, impactful life.

On Tuesday, May 15, from 1-4 PM, we will be hosting an art show featuring paintings by Syrian children. You’ll be able to learn about these young artists, the stories of their paintings, and even buy prints. Every dollar benefits the children and their families. Our doctors of audiology will be there too, ready to answer any of your questions and get to know you better.

We want to invite you to join us in our efforts to change the world.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Attend the art show, and bring a friend: We care about the world, and you can join us in making a difference simply by showing up.

2. Spread the word!: Treating hearing healthcare in places where it’s uncommon is not easy. Through donations and support, we can change lives everywhere, and that’s possible when people know about it.

3. Buy a print or make a donation: Every dollar raised goes to a good cause. Whether it’s directly to the Syrian children and their families or helping fund our mission trips across the world, your money helps people receive the care they need.

4. Donate your old hearing aids: Old devices may not be useful for you, but through Entheos, we can refurbish old devices so people with hearing loss can be properly treated. Bring them with you to the show or drop them off at our office anytime!

RSVP by Monday, May 7th

  • Call: 215-855-4217
  • Or fill out the form below

Space is limited so RSVP today!

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