Meet Shoshi and Johnny. They may look silly, but they are actually revolutionizing the way Syrian refugees see Israel. Johnny is a Christian Arab, Shoshi is Jewish, and together they work as medical clowns who cheer up sick kids and smash stereotypes one red nose at a time. Their work is hilarious. The outcome is no joke.
Their job is to make hospital visits more fun and less scary for Israeli kids (regardless of religion, ethnicity or nationality). As medical clowns, they can reduce patients’ anxiety, depression, and pain, making it easier for doctors to give them the medical care they need, and even helping their bodies heal faster. These medical clowns fit right into Israeli society since Israelis are known for their resilience and for being among the world’s happiest people!
But what’s even more amazing is that the hospital where Shoshi and Johnny work in northern Israel is actually close to the border of civil war-torn Syria. This means that not only do Israeli kids get some laughs in the tense hospital atmosphere but so do hundreds of war-torn refugees treated by Israel. This even includes Syrian children with sometimes severe injuries. Even more incredible – because Shoshi is Jewish and Johnny is a Christian Israeli Arab, the pair smash stereotypes and build trust in patients who might have had some really negative preconceptions about other races, religions, and nationalities.
Read more about the Dream Doctors and coexistence in Israel here: http://blog.jerusalemu.org/meet-the-clowns-changing-how-syrian-refugees-see-israel