​​The images on these cards are the work of Syrian artists living in the Syrian Refugee Camp in Northern Jordon. Many of the refugees have been there for the past six years. The art arose as a part of a project to create a version of the book Parts Work: An Illustrated Guide to your Inner Life,  which will integrate Parts Work and Islamic psychology.  The project expanded to include images of the artists’ experiences and feelings about their flight and their life in the camp.

I have had these cards made, with the help of Jane Eckstein, in a project parallel to the Inner Active Cards  by Sharon Eckstein, which accompanied the original English version of the book Parts Work.  These 75 cards will supplement Inner Active Cards for psychological work with refugees. It is my hope that they will help many people as  Inner Active Cards have, to understand themselves, and to help others to understand their experiences.  They also serve as a testimony to the courage and creativity of artists living in difficult conditions far from their home. May their example be one that gives the viewer inspiration and courage.

Tom Holmes

Zaatari Cards
Now sold through Backwoods Press

Healing Images from Zaatari Camp

Backwoods Press has received accolades from around the world regarding the effectiveness and clarity Inner Active Cards bring to Parts Work therapy. We have attributed such testaments to the archetypal depictions of ego states common to all sentient beings, such as:  joy and grief; friendship and loneliness; anger and compassion.  As racial, religious, and culturally diverse people are being displaced by war, poverty, climate change, and ethnic intolerance, we also receive commentary on the limited scope of our “Westernized cultural perspective.” We admit this is a real problem and a difficult one to resolve; we would have to create a deck of well over 1,000 images to even sample the diversity and cultural nuances in our world.  Perhaps Zaatari Cards, even in their specific cultural context, we take a step in this direction.    

Zaatari Cards not only address the trauma and suffering experienced by refugees and their families, but they also give voice to immigrants who find themselves in foreign lands, with  foreign  languages, and customs.  Zaatari Cards can help bridge these language barriers and ineffable emotional hurdles through the power of specific images. 

As a supplement to Inner Active Cards, Zaatari Cards also heighten awareness of the fearful ego parts who, commandeer our core of Wisdom, Intelligence and Compassion, with their  perceived good intentions of ensuring survival. However, relating to others through these images, refugees, immigrants, as well as native people, discover they are not alone in their fear and suffering, and have much to offer each other. They experience how embracing their misguided ego parts with loving-kindness connects people to the global community, instead of perpetuating divisiveness, fear and hatred; transformation becomes possible.   

Zaatari Cards are sold with no profit to Backwoods Press for $25.00 a deck plus shipping.  All funds are distributed to the artists at the Zaatari camp in Jordan.  The heading scene of the Zaatari camp tents is a photo of an oil painting created by a Zaatari refugee. These artists have become very resourceful in scrounging the camp for discarded tent fabric and scrap wood in order to construct their canvases. They depend on donations of art supplies from generous individuals who have become aware of their plight and mission.  The purchase of the Zaatari Cards not only helps fund this worthy cause, but it also gives voice and purpose to these extraordinary artists, and contributes to the healing of our world.      

Sharon Eckstein

A few of the 75 Images

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All artwork ©/™ Sharon Sargent Eckstein & Backwoods Press, 2012. Graphics and Web Site by Jane Eckstein.