Good News from Gaza

It’s not often we see a headline like this, but from yesterday’s i newspaper comes the following, by Nidal al-Mughrabi:

“The group of girls dressed in pink stretched their arms out and pivoted on to their toes, trying desperately to hold still. Eagle-eyed, the instructor surveyed Gaza’s latest crop of would-be ballerinas.

Fifty girls aged 5 to 8 are now enrolled in the ballet school at the Al-Quattan Centre for Children in Gaza, making it one of the most popular classes at the arts institute. “The ballet project was a dream for many families,” said Heyam Al-Hayek, the head of Quattan’s cultural activities. “They had been asking for ballet courses but we couldn’t find trainers. It was difficult to bring an instructor from abroad.”

The dream began to take shape wen they found Tamara, a Ukrainian married to a Palestinian and living in Gaza, who had studied dance and was qualified to teach. Before they knew it, 50 children, all girls, were registered. There is now a waiting list in the hundreds.

The mother of 6 year old Maria said ballet had helped her daughter get over years of trauma. “She had been suffering since the 2012 war,” said Manal Abu Muamar, describing Maria’s nightmares. “After the  first ballet class, she came home happy as a bird. She did the moves she had learnt and she was going round the house like a butterfly”

The magic or art!


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