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In Pictures
In Pictures: 'Circus Behind the Wall'
Palestinian circus attempts to inform and entertain local and international audiences with stories of struggle.
Last updated: 25 Jan 2014 07:57
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"We do this because we need to create a better Palestine, this means politically but also socially." 

Nayef Abdallah was born a refugee in Faraa refugee camp to a family who were driven from their home in Haifa during the Nakba - the events surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948 which Palestinians refer to as "the catastrophe". From such beginnings, few people would have imagined that years later he would go on to take Palestine to the world through a very non-traditional performing art.

"This is not part of (traditional) Palestinian culture and at first many people asked 'What does this mean?' Some people were against the idea in the beginning." 

After nearly eight years of hard work, which now includes 10 weekly training classes, open days, summer camps and national tours, the Palestinian Circus School has become an established and respected part of the Palestinian cultural scene. The school has also taken stories of Palestine internationally in a new and unique way.

" 'Circus Behind the Wall' (the first show produced by the school) talked about the separation of families and lovers. We played behind the Wall on the stage. Internationally we perform politically to tell our stories," Abdallah said. Politics is in our lives, but when we perform here we also need to make people laugh and forget. It is very important to see a child smile. Palestine needs a lot of things, and one of them is circus." 


/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

The Palestinian Circus School was established in 2006. In 2011 it moved into its own premises in the village of BirZeit.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Around 150 young people are currently involved in regular circus classes.

 


/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Participants should pay 600 shekels (about $171) a year towards tuition costs and 100 shekels (about $29) for insurance, but more than 75 percent of the students struggle to pay these fees due to the tough economic situation in Palestine. 



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

The school's policy affirms that students will never be turned away if they cannot pay the tuition fees.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

The school implements weekly workshops in refugee camps and cities across the West Bank.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Gender equality is a fundamental part of the school's structure.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Foreign nationals who are based in Palestine are welcome to join classes.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Weekly training sessions are held for four different ability levels - Show Group, Preparatory Group, Introductory Group and Social Circus Group.

 


/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Nayef Abdallah was one of the first ever students at the circus school in 2006 and is now a head trainer.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Performance tours have been held in various European countries.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Exchange programs have been established with European circuses to host trainers and performers in Palestine.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

The school is funded by various international organisations including SIDA, A M Al Qattan Foundation, the Drosos Foundation and Poppies for Peace.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

In 2012, the school supported an international call for the Canadian circus, Cirque du Soleil, to cancel a planned performance in Israel due to Israel's ongoing human rights violations against the Palestinian people.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

Accounting for national and international shows, the Palestinian Circus School has already performed in front of more than 60,000 people in its short history.



/Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera

The school's vision "dreams of a society in which Palestinians engage in a dynamic cultural and artistic life that embraces creativity, freedom of expression and diversity as the main pillars for a just and inclusive society". 




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images:
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captions:

The Palestinian Circus School was established in 2006. In 2011 it moved into its own premises in the village of BirZeit.

;*;

Around 150 young people are currently involved in regular circus classes.

 
;*;

Participants should pay 600 shekels (about $171) a year towards tuition costs and 100 shekels (about $29) for insurance, but more than 75 percent of the students struggle to pay these fees due to the tough economic situation in Palestine. 

;*;

The school(***)s policy affirms that students will never be turned away if they cannot pay the tuition fees.

;*;

The school implements weekly workshops in refugee camps and cities across the West Bank.

;*;

Gender equality is a fundamental part of the school(***)s structure.

;*;

Foreign nationals who are based in Palestine are welcome to join classes.

;*;

Weekly training sessions are held for four different ability levels - Show Group, Preparatory Group, Introductory Group and Social Circus Group.

 
;*;

Nayef Abdallah was one of the first ever students at the circus school in 2006 and is now a head trainer.

;*;

Performance tours have been held in various European countries.

;*;

Exchange programs have been established with European circuses to host trainers and performers in Palestine.

;*;

The school is funded by various international organisations including SIDA, A M Al Qattan Foundation, the Drosos Foundation and Poppies for Peace.

;*;

In 2012, the school supported an international call for the Canadian circus, Cirque du Soleil, to cancel a planned performance in Israel due to Israel(***)s ongoing human rights violations against the Palestinian people.

;*;

Accounting for national and international shows, the Palestinian Circus School has already performed in front of more than 60,000 people in its short history.

;*;

The school(***)s vision "dreams of a society in which Palestinians engage in a dynamic cultural and artistic life that embraces creativity, freedom of expression and diversity as the main pillars for a just and inclusive society". 

Daylife ID:
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Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera;*;Rich Wiles/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
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