In this March edition of The Word on Circus, ASCA wish to focus on several social circus organizations that wish to make a difference in the Middle East and South Asia. What they are doing are nothing short of miracles. You can also find the links to these stories on our Facebook page.
” ‘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.”
After starting out in the summer of 2006 as a tiny circus group in Ramallah, the Palestinian Circus School has long since expanded its activities to the entire West Bank: today, young people learn dance, acrobatics and performance skills in Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin and Bethlehem, at the Al Faraa and Jalazon refugee camps, and of course at the headquarters in Birzeit.
“Left on the street, kids turn to bad things, becoming suicide bombers or street thugs,” said Murtaza Nowrozi, an 18-year-old juggler from the western province of Herat. “It’s better for them to go to school and join programs like this.”
“Of course our goal is not to be circus artists, but to be in a safe place for two hours every day,” says Topi Hurtig, the Finnish circus trainer in perhaps the most novel social program to rise from the maelstrom surrounding Syria’s civil war. “We use circus as a way of improving people’s psychological well being.”