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Dabka

The traditional Palestinian dance (Dabka) is an integral part of the Palestinian folklore and the memory of the Palestinians culture. It is present in all fields of life and is still performed in all national and popular occasions, such as weddings. It has been a feature of Lajee’s work since the initiation of the center. Weekly Dabka lessons are led by our Dabka coach Nasim Abu Amsha, who runs two programs for different age levels and abilities.

Since 2001 till this day, Lajee Center in Aida refugee camp has been working on reviving and improving Dabka dance. The group today has 55 members between the ages of 5 to 25 years, who all aspire to deliver the Palestinian word through the traditional art. Our main Dabka troupe have been together for many years since they were young children, and now range in age from 15-25 years old. They perform regularly at events around the area of Palestine today referred to as the ‘West Bank’ and have also toured and performed internationally. The Dabka Troupe has performed in Egypt and Syria, and participates in a bi-annual cultural tour to the UK which also features photography exhibitions and film screenings. Our 2008 and 2010 UK Cultural Tours included dance workshops with British school children and public performances. On both UK tours, in the region of 3000 people attended our public events, and collaborative workshops.

Our second group of young dancers are children aged from 5-10. Mostly new to Dabka, they are keen participants in their weekly workshops and with more experience and expertise they will also begin to perform publicly.

Dabka at Lajee, as with all our projects, involves both male and female participants working together. Music includes many traditional and some contemporary Palestinian and Arab songs, and our style fuses Palestinian and Syrian movements together. Many of the dances are themed around stories of the children’s lives in Aida Camp and wider refugee history – in this context our Dabka, much as with all our cultural work, becomes a collaborative production of communication, storytelling, and defense of Palestinian rights. If you would like to help in any way or find out more info about Dabka at Lajee please contact us as: info@lajee.org.

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