July 25, 2021

Lily4Refugees is supporting Animals Without Borders!

 


I’m happy and excited to inform you that with helping the American refugee organization LOVE WITHOUT BORDERS 4 REFUGEES, I will also be supporting the project ANIMALS WITHOUT BORDERS

Kayra Martinez, the founder of LWB4Refugees has been working in the refugee camp of Nea Kavala, in northern Greece, near the Macedonian border, since 2016. Since then she has fed and cared for stray cats and dogs that were malnourished and neglected. Kayra and helpers ensured that the animals received the necessary medical care. Kayra started to refer the strays to their new homes in Germany, Canada, and Norway with the support of some organizations and helpers.



Since then, Kayra and Bruni, a German helper from the very beginning, have helped to fly almost 80 dogs and cats from Greece to their new homes. These animals got a chance to have a wonderful life. This work would not have been possible without the incredible help and friendliness of the refugees who are housed in Nea Kavala and who have fed and cared for them.



Kayra and Bruni collect donations for the flight costs, care, and food for the dogs of Nea Kavala in order to bring them to their future homes across the globe. 100% of all donations are used for these costs to bring the dogs to their new homes and to support the animals in Northern Greece.

If you like to support Keyra and the forgotten animals on the streets of Greece, visit this link! 

Watch my Zoom Interviews with this wonderful and inspiring Angel Kayra Martinez in English and German on You Tube!

Pictures of happy dogs in their happy new home! 





By purchasing the ebook "Laila, All Colors matter!" 
you support Kayra Martinez 
because 100% of the profit goes directly to AWB. 


July 23, 2021

Lily4Refugees is supporting Love Without Borders 4 Refugees!

Creativity means being inventive and I had the honor to speak to this amazingly creative and inspiring Lady about her love and support for refugees. You can watch my conversation with Kayra Martinez on Youtube

In 2015, Kayra Martinez, the founder of "Love without Borders 4 Refugees", a flight attendant for United Airlines based in Frankfurt, Germany, heard about the horrible conditions in which asylum seekers were made to live in.

Kayra was inspired to leverage her privileged lifestyle to make a difference and started organizing collections of needed items like coats and warm clothing in her Frankfurt community, and later decided to volunteer in the refugee camps and housing communities in the north of Greece.

It was at the Nea Kavala camp that Kayra had the brilliant idea to give the children art supplies so that they could draw and paint. From the first session, Kayra noticed how the creative process seemed to calm the kids, so she began regular art workshops for the children in the tents in the camp. She shared what she was doing with her friends through social media when someone suggested to her that she sell the paintings. Over time, parents joined their children, and Kayra expanded the program to include adults who were interested. She began selling the pieces on behalf of the artists, returning all of the earnings to the individuals that created each piece sold.

Love Without Borders for Refugees seeks to support refugees in Greece regain stability and autonomy over their lives. Using art for self-expression and as a tool for economic independence is like therapy. The refugees have a platform through which they express themselves, share their experiences, and forge relationships with both a local and global community.




“In a process of self-empowerment these soulful individuals heal the trauma of recent years through the self-reflection, self-expression, and storytelling power of the creative process.” Kayra Martinez

Kayras main operation consists of facilitating art workshops and the sale of refugee-created art. With the donations of generous individuals around the world, she purchases art supplies from local, Greek vendors such as canvases, watercolors, pencils, markers, calligraphy paper, and sketchpads to adults and children in the refugee camps.

Kayras volunteers host workshops in their homes and the tents of the artists in the camps. With the help of volunteers she met in Greece, she is also hosting exhibitions of refugee art across the United States, and around the world. The creations are then transported by volunteers to cities around the world where they organize exhibitions and sell the art. One hundred percent of the profits from the sale of each piece of art is returned to the artist. Many of the pieces sold are from children as young as 3.

With her non-profit-organization, registered and operated in the United States, Kayra is educating the public about the struggles refugees face; to humanize the refugee experience; and to generate compassion and empathy for all people in this world. She spread awareness of the conditions faced by refugees and the continued state of the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East.

In addition to her art program, her volunteers coordinate other aid programs including the distribution of material and financial aid to meet the immediate and unmet needs of these and other displaced individuals. These include providing sleeping bags, tents, and temporary quarters for those refugees with housing insecurity; providing unspoiled food for those without, and locating missing persons.

If you live in the United States and like to support “Love Without Borders 4 Refugees, please visit the LWBRefugeeArt Etsy shop. 









July 21, 2021

My Special Blog Guest: The King of Dance (Part 3)



I hope you had the time to watch the documentary “Dance or Die” and all the other great videos (dance performances and interviews) that I shared about Ahmad Joudeh’s life journey in my previous two blog posts (Part 1) and (Part 2).  

If you have seen what I saw, you definitely agree that this beautiful soul is one of a kind. Ahmad Joudeh’s life story is not a Hollywood Fiction film. It is the reality of a young and innocent boy born in a refugee camp and living stateless for decades in Syria.

A little boy with a big dream made it from a refugee camp and a war zone to the international stage of the Eurovision Song Contest! From a stateless refugee boy to a proud Dutch. With his strong belief, passion, devotion, discipline, and love for dance, he made the impossible possible! Ahmad Joudeh is a global star and inspiration for everyone! 

According to UNHCR in the previous three years, one million children were born as Refugees. Many of these babies are born in refugee camps across the globe and the world is witnessing this cruel, heartbreaking and inhuman condition for decades.  

When COVID-19 changed the world in 2020, my first thought and prayers were with the refugees stuck in the horrible refugee camps. I asked myself what happens to them now. Who is going to take care of their misery?

At the same time, I was annoyed by peoples ongoing whining around me. All of a sudden, people were worried about their children’s education and future. Unemployment, no income, insecurity, fear, anxiety, depression, and mental illness became the new normality for everyone. And I mean every single human being, regardless of birthplace, nationality, passport, skin colour, gender, and religion. Everyone is in the same challenging and difficult situation! 

And my reaction was: "Good, now everyone knows how millions of innocent victims of war and refugees suffer for ages. Now they know how it feels like to be helpless and powerless about your own life decisions and choices. Now they know how it is to live day by day, night by night, worrying and not knowing what the next day will bring. Now they see how unhealthy the lack of perspective and uncertainty feels. Now they know how loneliness and social isolation troubles the mind, heart, and soul. Stop complaining about the Lockdowns. At least you have a warm and safe home with a roof over your head. What about the refugees serving in tents with no privacy and only limited access to basic rights such as education, health care, employment, and freedom of movement? Your worries and uncertainties are food, alcohol, and toilet paper. The refugees are struggling with hunger and the most inhuman, unhygienic, and unsanitary conditions for years."

Maybe now after 1,5 years living with a global pandemic, a few people will have a better understanding, compassion, and empathy with refugees! 

Watch my One-hour Zoom interview with this incredibly strong, confident, talented, amazingly beautiful soul. Ahmad Joudeh is not only a refugee camp survivor, war survivor, dancer, and choreograph, he is now a published writer with a mission! He has my full respect, admiration, and love and I wish him all the happiness and success in the world! 

Ahmad Joudeh's honest, eye-opening, educational, and inspiring memoir “Dance or Die” is a reminder for everyone out there who lives a privileged life in every imaginable aspect but doesn't appreciate it in every possible way! Stop making excuses and do something meaningful with your life! 


Pre-order "Dance or Die" on Amazon! 

 

July 18, 2021

Q & A Interview with American Fantasy Author C.L. Schneider


Creativity allows us to view and solve problems. It opens our minds. Especially in difficult and lonely time’s creativity is the best self-therapy and healing solution for our heart, mind, and soul. Creativity is the ability to generate, create, or discover new ideas, solutions, and possibilities. During this horrible global pandemic crisis, everyone was challenged in one or another way, which gave me the idea to feature a few creative guests in my summer blog series Corona & Creativity.

My next guest in my blog series 2021 is the lovely and talented American Author C.L. Schneider. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley. Her debut novel was The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price, the first book in her epic fantasy trilogy.  The Crown of Stones is a gripping account of one man's struggle to accept who and what he is. It's the journey of a flawed hero, a fallen race, and a land at war. A page-turning tale of prejudice, betrayal, secrets, and lies. 

Her new series, Nite Fire, is a gritty, action-packed, urban fantasy featuring shapeshifters,  dragons, parallel worlds, and various creatures of myth and legend.  

Welcome back Cynthia! You've been featured in my blog series back in 2017. So tell me what means creativity to you?

Creativity is the act of making something from nothing, of giving life to your dreams. It’s the unlimited expression of thought and emotion.

What is your favorite creative activity? Writing.

What is your favorite color? Red



Did you discover a creative activity or new passion during the corona Lockdown?

Unfortunately, no. My creativity took a hit during lockdown, at least the first half.  I’m the kind of person who is deeply affected by the emotions of others. There was so much pain in the world, so much loss and anger. It was hard for me to focus on channeling my own emotions into writing when the whole world was hurting. I didn’t stop writing, though. I did what I could, when I could, and eventually I pushed through it.

Do you think creative people are happier in general?

The act of creating, of letting your imagination go free, is a huge mood booster. It’s also therapeutic. I believe creative people who are free to follow their passion, without it being stifled, can glean happiness from living a truly creative life.


Would you say creativity is kind of a self-therapy?

Absolutely. It allows you to express what you’re feeling in a medium without restriction or (in that moment) judgement.

Would you say that creative people are more driven and disciplined?

I think creative people are definitely driven. Once a project gets in your head, it can be all-consuming. Hours pass and you don’t even realize it. Disciplined…? That’s a little tricker. When a creative person’s focus is locked on bringing something to life, some days nothing will pull them away. Other days, we look for every little distraction to do anything but create.


The meaning of “Creativity” is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness! Creativity is going beyond the usual, stepping outside of the box. It can be defined in many ways, such as how a person explores ideas or uses different ways to solve issues and how one experiences life. So what was your original idea or what did you create during lockdown? You can list more than one.

I managed to write and publish the first novella in a new series. It was something that had been kicking around in my head for years but kept getting pushed to the back burner. Though it takes place in the same world as another one of my series, in some respects it’s different than anything I’ve written before. It felt great to finally devote time to the idea and bring it to life. I also tinkered with some short stories. I’m not sure if I will finish/publish them or not. I’m not a short story person. I generally find them harder than a novel where I can take time to build the world and develop the characters. But when everything was in turmoil, for some reason, I found myself gravitating to the shorter creative works as an outlet.

While you may have natural creativity skills, there are also skills that can be learned and developed over time. Would you say your creative skills are natural or trained?

I think my writing skills are both. I had an early and natural talent for writing, but through years of research, reading, and crafting stories, I’ve honed my skills to what they are today. But the learning, the training never stops. Every book I write teaches me something new.


A new study from researchers has found that women are engaged in creative fields like art, music, and literature at higher rates than men and are generally more creative than men. What is your thought on that?

I know a lot of men who are creative and highly passionate about their art. But art comes from emotion and women (as a whole) tend to be more in touch with their emotions. We generally feel them more intensely and are quicker to share them. So, from that perspective, perhaps we are quicker to channel them into art?

Do you think being creative and productive is also related to season? For example are you more creative in the summer or in winter?

I’m not sure. All I can say is, personally, summer is harder for me simply because there are more distractions.

Thank you Cynthia for being my blog guest again and best of luck with all your creative activities and projects. If you like to know more about C.L. Schneider, follow her on Social media or visit her website!

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter







July 17, 2021

Cheeese! Keep smiling, keep fighting, keep surviving!

Davis, American Lawyer, and diplomat who invented "Cheese..!"

One of the best inventions of all time in the creative field has been the photo camera. The very first was designed in 1685 by Johann Zahn. But the first photograph was clicked by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in the year 1814. It was thousands of years back that an Iraqi scientist Ibn- al- Haytham made a mention of this kind of device in his book, Book of Optics in 1021. And what we know today as the digital camera was invented by Steven Sasson camera at Eastman Kodak in 1975.

Capturing moments and freezing emotional and important life events forever in pictures is truly a blessing. But in my personal opinion and experience is pictures are not reliable sources. They are often nothing but a big and fat lie!

“Cheese!” That’s what many people say when they take a picture. According to my research Davies, an American lawyer and diplomat who served under Roosevelt suggested this during a photoshoot on the set of the film adaptation of his book Mission to Moscow in 1943. While having his picture taken, he said the formula to taking a good picture was saying "Cheese" as it creates an automatic smile. He also said: "I learned that from a politician, a very great politician. But, of course, I cannot tell you who he was." One theory is that former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt came up with the phrase!

Looking back at these pictures below taken between 1996 – 2004 proves my point. These were the toughest years in our life and yet I smile! I smile next to strangers that I met only once or twice in my entire life. When you take a picture with a celebrity it only takes a second. They don’t know you. They don’t know your story. You on the other hand believe to know them, because of their creative work, be it in the music or TV field.

But in reality, you don’t know anything about these people. And yet in the pictures, we look so tight and familiar! Some of them were more than two-minute acquaintances. I actually worked with a few of them and they became chapters rather than a single sentence in my life story. And yet today I would say they were all just passengers in my life story. So what I’m trying to say is: Creativity can also fool you. Be aware, that not everything that you see or believe to see is the reality!

In the late 90es and early 2000, there was no Social media. There was no Instagram generation with influencers. We took pictures just for us to capture a little moment of happiness. Because meeting creative and successful people (celebrities) is always exciting and inspiring. But trust me looking back at these pictures and knowing what I was going through; I realize that the other person was surely having his or her own difficulties and challenges as well. 

In difficult times in life, we have no other choice than to keep smiling, keep shining, keep breathing, keep functioning, keep pretending, keep fighting and finally keep surviving! That’s the reality of life and not the shiny and glossy pictures that we see.

Boy Band "Worlds Apart"

Boy Band "Caught in the Act"

Singer and TV personality Peter Andre


Miss Switzerland 1995 Stephanie Berger 

German Girl Band "Funky Diamonds"


Momo from the German Girl Band

Sandy from the German Girl Band "No Angels"


German Pop Stars Judge & Choreograph  "Dee"


German Singer Gil Ofarim

German Boy Band "The Boys"

Miss Switzerland 1997 and Actress Tanja Gutmann 

Swiss TV Host Sandra Studer

Swiss TV Host Sven Epiney

Mister Switzerland 2000 Claudio Minder

Swiss Artist Rolf Knie


The Swiss Circus dynasty Gregory Knie

American Actor David Hasselhoff (THE HOFF)




 STAY TUNED FOR MY ZOOM INTERVIEW WITH MY SPECIAL BLOG GUEST 

DANCER AND WRITER AHMAD JOUDEH ON JULY 21TH 2021! 


July 15, 2021

The UK Songwriting Contest 2021!



The best way to spread important and profound messages around the world is to do it through books, music, and movies. Back in 2015 during the refugee crises in Europe, I’ve participated for the very first time as lyricist in the UK SONGWRITING CONTEST with three song lyrics “Destination Freedom”, “Blood is always red” and “My Angel of Love”.

Ever since I was extremely busy with blogging, writing, translating, illustrating, and publishing my children’s books and have neglected my love for song lyrics. But I’m happy and excited to inform you that I have participated in this year’s contest. The song contest winner from 2015 and my lovely summer blog guest in August 2021, American songwriter Debra Gussin, has actually motivated me to give it another try. 

I have submitted two brand-new lyrics related to my Lily4Refugees project in this year’s UK and International songwriting competition. My song titles are “80 million people!” and “My Voice 4 the Voiceless”. I’m hoping that my voice/lyrics will be heard by professionals from the music industry because my main goal is always to bring more awareness about this delicate topic and the global crises.

Why? Because refugees and asylum seekers around the globe need all our love and support. Displaced humans, who have lost everything, are now innocently sentenced for life as refugees in their new country. They have to struggle with the most horrible living conditions and freedom becomes nothing but a meaningless word.

As I know from my own experience, becoming a refugee is a lifelong emotional suicide. Uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and social isolation become normality unless we bring more awareness and change the global refugee law when it comes to integration and education. It is a long long way, but every little step counts, if we want the next generation to suffer less than we did, than I did!

In my previous post, I shared the lyrics from “Destination Freedom” and “Blood is always red”. Both lyrics were scored with 6 from maximum 10 points which indicates that I the lyricist have demonstrated real songwriting ability and understanding. A score of 6 is regarded as a borderline semifinalist score and indicates that my songs very nearly made it into the semi-finals. 


About the songwriting contest: The UK Songwriting Contest is one of the world's longest running and most popular and successful international songwriting events. It was launched in London in 2002. No other songwriting event in the world was formed together with such well respected and prestigious organisations. The UKSC judging panels have featured Grammy, Emmy, CMA, and BRIT Award-winning Gold and Platinum Album producers and artists. For more information visit their www.songwritingcontest.co.uk or follow them on Instagram


 STAY TUNED FOR MY ZOOM INTERVIEW WITH MY SPECIAL BLOG GUEST 

DANCER AND WRITER AHMAD JOUDEH ON JULY 21TH 2021! 


July 14, 2021

The UK Songwriting Contest 2015!

In 2011 while I was doing one of my stupid low-paid part-time jobs that I hated from the bottom of my heart, writing song lyrics became my way of self-therapy. I was working as a Call Center agent for a national phone company and while customers called and yelled at me because of their unpaid bills, writing lyrics helped me to survive the exhausting and long hours at work.

During my phone conversations with rude and unpleasant customers, I began to write song lyrics based on my memoir “Destination Freedom”. It has always been my goal to produce a musical based on my true story to bring more awareness about the global refugee issues. Being creative made me survive this unpleasant experience for a year! So here we go, these are the two lyrics, written in 2011 that were scored with 6 by the UKSC Judges back in 2015.

EXPLANATION OF THE JUDGES SCORING  www.songwritingcontest.co.uk

Songs are scored between 1 and 10. Most songs in the contest (around 80 per cent) will not receive a score higher than 6. Semi finalists and finalists receive a very high score of 7, 8 or 9. The score of 10 is reserved only for the winning song in each category.

A score of 4, 5 and 6 indicates that the writer has demonstrated real songwriting ability and understanding and songs with these scores will usually receive a Commended Entry Certificate. The UKSC attracts a high standard of entries and the majority of songs in this contest will usually fall somewhere in this range. A score of 6 is regarded as a borderline semi finalist score and indicates that the song very nearly made it into the semi finals!


DESTINATION: FREEDOM

Lyrics by Lily Amis © 2011 scored with 6 by the UKSC Judges in 2015

Verse 1

Bombs keep falling like a raindrop from the sky
Bloods are falling like tears from their eyes
Dear God only you can make it stop
You’re their light in the dark

 

Verse 2
Families are taken a part
Life’s are falling apart
Young soldiers are falling like leaves from trees
Bloods flowing like a river in the streets
Hopes and dreams are vanishing in clouds
Instead cemeteries are full of crowds

 

Verse 3

In the middle of the night
They’ve awaked several times
It’s terrifying to live in fears
It’s terrifying to live with tears

 

Chorus:
Destination Freedom is all they wish for
Security is all they hope for
Justice is all they pray for
They need a place to survive
A place to call home is all they wish for
A place to feel welcome

 

Verse 4
So they pray silently
Dear God we’re scared of dying
The attacks seem to last forever
Dear God please let us survive or
at least die together

 

Verse 5
Oh God, it takes allot of courage
to leave everything and everyone behind
Taking this step is a sign
A sign of helplessness and
Desperation
Cause every day, every hour
Could be the last
Dear God, they’re so
Conscious of that
 

Verse 6

They’re powerless over a silly war
And speechless by all the greed
They victims, victims by disregard of
Human rights
Disregard of democracy
Who can they blame for this misery?
One day these all will only be in history

 

Chorus:
Destination Freedom is all they wish for
Security is all they hope for
Justice is all they pray for
They need a place to survive
A place to call home is all they wish for
A place to feel welcome


REMEMBER… BLOOD IS ALWAYS RED 

Lyrics by Lily Amis © 2011 scored with 6 by the UKSC Judges in 2015
 

Verse 1
Did you choose the country of your birth?
Did you choose your skin colour?
Did you choose your religion?
Should that make a difference?

Chorus:

You and me, we are all visitors to this life
Flesh and bone - one and the same!
Remember Blood is always red.

Verse 2

Then why is it so hard to except people the way they are?
Why do we have to make it so hard?
Who on earth has the right to decide peoples destinies?
Who on earth has the right to destroy people’s dreams?

Bridge

We should all be given the right to Freedom
The right to live a life in dignity
Regardless of nationality Skin colour
Race and religion

 

Chorus

You and me, we are all visitors to this life
Flesh and bone - one and the same!
Remember Blood is always red.

Bridge

Life is precious and short
You can’t turn back the time you wasted
So start to live today and led the others live to
Allow everyone to experience
the benefit of this wonderful place
planet earth and his human race
 

Verse 3

Why is it so hard to except people the way they are?
Why do we have to make it so hard?
Who on earth has the right to decide over peoples life?
Who on earth has the right to destroy peoples
wishes and goals?

 

Bridge

We should all be given the right to self-determination
Regardless of nationality
Skin colour
Race and religion

 

Chorus

You and me, we are all visitors to this life
Flesh and bone - one and the same!
Remember Blood is always red.

Verse 4

As long as people remain narrow-minded and Selfish
As long as people are dazzled and poisoned by devils game
Nothing will change
We have to destroy the devil in us
Only then something will change
We should all be given the right to equal chances
Regardless of nationality Skin color
Race and religion

Chorus

You and me, we are all visitors to this life
Flesh and bone - one and the same!
Remember Blood is always red.

 STAY TUNED FOR MY ZOOM INTERVIEW WITH MY SPECIAL BLOG GUEST 

DANCER AND WRITER AHMAD JOUDEH ON JULY 21TH 2021! 


July 11, 2021

My Special Blog Guest: The King of Dance (Part 2)


Welcome to the second part of my special guest's blog series. If you haven't read the first part, here we go

I’m happy and excited to inform you that I had the pleasure and honor to speak to the talented Dutch dancer and choreograph Ahmad Joudeh just one month after his incredible performance at the Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final 2021 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After watching his dance, I knew that I had to interview him for my summer blog series about “Corona & Creativity”!

Ahmad Joudeh has a God-given gift and dancing is his “safe place” where he feels like the “Master of the Universe”. But Ahmad is more than just a passionate dancer and choreograph. He is a wise man with a mission. Watching the documentary about his life, “Dance or Die” is heartbreaking but also hopeful and eye-opening. Hopeful because he is a symbol for young and ambitious refugees, who want to be more than just a refugee for their entire life! 

Ahmad’s life story shows that with hard work, discipline, strong belief in yourself, creativity, and talent you can make the impossible possible and achieve whatever you want in life, despite obstacles by destiny and prejudice by society.

I'm so proud of this young man for using his voice and sharing his incredible life story with us. He is not just a dancer and choreograph, Ahmad is now also a published writer.  

Stay tuned for my one-hour Zoom Interview on July 21st, 2021. Ahmad and I talk about his passion for dance, his new book release “Dance or Die” which will be released on September 21. 2021 and much more. 

Meanwhile, get to know him better through the following videos.

Source: AhmadJoudeh.com / Wikipedia / Youtube