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Circus School Unit

The Lajee Circus School was established in February 2019 after much hard work and dedication from Mohammad Rumi and the Lajee staff. The idea came about after a visit from the Spaniard “Pallasos en Rebeldia” Circus group in 2017 and 2018. Each performer lived with the Lajee staff for one month, including Rumi, who took up an immense interest in learning all about the Circus and learning Circus skills. During the “Pallasos en Rebeldia” visit, a few of the Lajee members took practice lessons with the performers. There Rumi learned about an exchange program with the Circus. He and the interested Lajee members went to Spain for 3 months and learned: the Circus Basics and Safety protocols, How to work with children between ages 6-12 years old, and learned 3 main acts in which they were certified to teach these children. The acts include: Trapeze, Tissu, and Juggling.

When the Lajee Circus School started in 2019, many children participated initially via the children’s summer camp, and continued afterwards with the top 10 participants. Lajee then announced an open registration for all children within Aida and Al-Azza camps to sign up and join the Lajee Circus School. Rumi and his associate in training, Asma, trained over 25 children in the original circus practices. In 2020, other organizations within Palestine heard about the Lajee Circus School, and gained their support through the Palestinian Performing Arts Network. Through this network, Lajee and other Palestinian Circus organizations held practices together for 3 months and put on a show for the parents in the Lajee Circus School. Despite COVID-19, the Lajee Circus School continued its work, following international protocols for hygiene as a top priority to keep their participants and staff sage and healthy. In 2021, Rumi attended a workshop with participants from various Circus Schools within all cities in Palestine, including Jerusalem. This workshop enhanced the participant’s skills to work with and train young children and is a revolving course to continue trainers/instructors improve their skills. With this additional knowledge, Lajee was able to open another Circus School course for all of its Aida and Al-Azza camp residents to participate in, which yielded 23 children who benefited from this course. As the year progressed, Lajee Circus School has grown its network with other neighboring associations, such as the Palestine Circus, Haram el Wehda, and Silwan Circus School, to share techniques and knowledge, and perform in front of audiences together.  

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