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A Reflection on Ireland - A Blog by Erasmus Solidarity Corps Volunteer Moneim Nassef



Moneim Nassef is a volunteer on our ESC programme. He helps with the schools' workshops, and will be directing a play with our young people in the Spring. He is currently taking part in the Anemoia project.



You can find more about the programme Moneim is a part of here: http://www.crookedhouse.ie/erasmus-student-traineeship/



 

It was a dream and now it has come true...Living and working abroad was a dream that I had in mind for a long time and now, here I am in Newbridge actually doing it.


It all started by chance with a link on a Facebook page. I decided to apply for a position with Crooked House Theatre Company as one of their volunteers for a year.

A lot of ups and downs happened along the way. From the beginning, my focus was on making this opportunity a reality. From the first day onwards, I believed that this opportunity was something that I could make happen...this belief helped me get beyond the obstacles that appeared in my way...


What obstacles? That's a good question! After the selection stages and interviews, I got onto the waiting list and then, unexpectedly, I got a call at the last

minute to replace someone else who wasn’t able to take up the position.


I said ‘yes’ straight away! I quickly finished filling in the visa documents and submitted them. This was one of the things that stressed me the most - I

waited 4 months for my visa and initially, I got rejected but because I was so determined, I appealed and after another 2 months, I finally got my visa. Due to the visa delay, I had to postpone my trip till the beginning of the following year to start with a new group of volunteers...


I have always believed in good timing and in God’s plans for all of us and now I am so glad to be here right now. After COVID-19, life returned to normal and so many opportunities were awaiting me here in Ireland. The first event I got involved in as a volunteer was the annual Dublin Fringe Festival. This opportunity allowed me to watch some fantastic shows and to meet many other artists - I had so much fun in Dublin which is about 30 minutes by train from my town, Newbridge.


Little by little, I started to get used to life in this town - to the cold weather and the pouring rain. But I didn't feel that cold because of the warm welcome that I found here from the minute I stepped off the plane from Peter and Crooked House Theatre Company.


My host family are really like my extended family, we eat together and often have nice chats. I even attended a birthday party of a young member of the family in

the countryside which was an amazing experience for me - to feel that I’m a member of a big family, not just staying in a room at their house.


One day I got an email from the O’Reilly Theatre in Dublin offering me the chance to volunteer in a show in the Dublin Theatre festival directed by the famous

Italian director, Romeo Castellucci. Once again, I met lots of artists and theatre makers there and had so much fun. After only 2 days of rehearsals, I found myself on the O'Reilly Theatre stage in Dublin in front of an audience of more than 250 people


When the show had finished, I remember walking alone in Dublin - it was cold but the proud energy inside my body made me feel warm inside...the time is flying and the place is full of positive energy and good vibes, everyone working together, figuring out where the next opportunity is.


We are going to do our best while working with these amazing groups of young people in KYT.


-Moneim.


 

This blog is a part of a wider set of blog produced by our volunteers for the 2022-23 season. You can view the previous one here.

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