9-1-2018 Alrowwad Culture and Arts Society launched ‘We are Jerusalem’ in the second week of January in Aida camp. The project aims to explain to children the importance of Jerusalem and the need to preserve their Palestinian identity. The timing of the program is seen as important following the decision by the US to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israeli.
‘We are Jerusalem’ involved 55 children a ten day camp to coincide with their winter vacation. It provided a range of fun activities and training for children from the Aida Camp. The group’s was named in honor of the Jerusalem gates.
The children spent time on sports and entertainment activities, theater and musical workshops, photography, radio recording, handwork, drawing, reading stories, learning French and Spanish languages.
The founder and general director at Alrowwad, Abedelfattah Abusrour, said the Society’s 2018 strategic plan seeks to provide the safe environment for the children to explore creative, cultural, and artistic activities with the aim of helping them to build a society free of violence.
Dr Abeldelfattah said this was important for the children in Aida camp are regularly exposed to violence and tear gas, with a Californian study finding the camp was close to the top of the list when it come to the use of tear gas globally.
Shared ja’ara, one of the children participating in the project, talked of the importance of Jerusalem and historical of Al Mood gate during radio recording session. The recording aims to send a message to the international community about the need to preserve identity of Jerusalem.
Yehia Quar, a child in the ‘Hebron Gate’ group, said he had the first chance to learn to dance the traditional dance called the Dabka.
Marie Quirynen, a volunteer with Alrowwad, said: “The experience of working with children in theater, playing even in French classes was one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever done.” She said, “it left a positive and beautiful impact about Palestine, despite the difficult situation surrounding the place.”