Positive story: A Syrian refugee teaches us to be brave

  • By Yvonne Patrick

Positive stories: A Syrian refugee teaches us to be brave despite death threats from Isis

We have all faced fear at different points in our lives, and probably took that fear on bravely. But how brave could you really be in the face of death?

Would you stand by your beliefs in the face of death threats or cast them aside and live to fight another day?

Even without being in the shoes of a refugee, the media gives us a glimpse into what living that horror really is like.

A Syrian refugee, despite being born into that tragic situation and facing death threats, inspired us all to be a little braver with our lives, the things we love and everything else.

Born and raised in a Syrian refugee camp, Ahmad Joudeh didn't let his situation hold him back as he strived to live his simple but amazing and powerful dream of being a ballet dancer.

His dream was frowned on by both family and people that should be inspired by him. He was beaten and left to face the worst by his dad.

Despite all his trials, Ahmad Joudeh has done incredible things with his dance-like touring the world with the Dutch national ballet. He collaborated with French singer Sanga and together, they came up with the song “dance or die” and its choreography. He blessed the people of Paris with his dance by performing the “dance or die” song in front of the Eiffel tower. He danced on so you think you can dance (the Arab version); he taught Damascus children how to dance, expressed his absolute disdain with Isis with his dance etc.

All the listed above are pretty impressive and inspiring, but would you believe us if we said that you haven't heard the best part yet?

Ahmad Joudeh got threatened by Isis after his village was raided 2015.

He was told to stop dancing or die.

Isn't it poetic in the most?

His intriguing “dance or die” piece was inspired by his life's motto, “dance, or die”.


We can only try to imagine the fear he must have felt by that threat, but that didn't stop him from spreading his message of self-expression through dance.

He went on to stage a performance at the Palmyra theatre in Syria, the location used by Isis to perform public executions in the past.

There was a ton of backlash as expected, but he didn't let any of it dull his spirits in the least.

He went on to say that he was prepared to fight all his life for the feeling of freedom that dancing affords him.

He refuses to let being born and raised a refugee to define his present and future.

Some people, including us, only hope for even a little bit of this brilliant man's bravery and commitment.

After the threat by Isis, we highly doubt that anyone who have blamed him if he stopped dancing. But instead, he went on to remind us that no matter where we are from or what we have been through, that we all have it in us to be precisely what we want to be.

Each time you buy something from Love Welcomes, you’re supporting a refugee and her family as they begin to rebuild lives shattered by war, one stitch at a time.

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