Artists' Television Access

The Children of Ibdaa

A benefit for Dheisheh boys

Thursday, January 1, 1970, 12:00 am, $5-

Middle East Children’s Alliance is pleased to have three friends, Ahmad Jabr, Jehad Shamarkeh and Rashed Abu Alia in the Bay Area. All three are from Deheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem , Occupied Palestine and are here with a scholarship to study English at San Francisco State University . They are currently enrolled in American Language Institute and if all goes well, they would like to enter San Francisco State next fall or spring.

The current Israeli military siege of Palestinian communities has hindered, if not completely prohibited, hundreds of thousands of children, youth and university students from accessing basic education. As part of our continued support for the Ibdaa Cultural center in Deheisheh camp and other projects for children in the West Bank and Gaza , this scholarship program helps to compliment the community work that these young men have already been involved in their communities. This is a unique opportunity to welcome them into our lives and offer them support in their time of growth and learning.

In order to ensure that we can provide the best for these young men, we will
be engaged in fundraising for their expenses. We appreciate the help that our
communities and friends have already generously provided and in exchange, we
bring events that not only raise awareness but bring us closer to other
communities. This film screening is dedicated to Ahmed, Rashed and Jihad who
have never faltered in their dedication to their families, communities and
their struggle. We welcome them here to give them something for themselves
and we hope that you can help us get there.

Ahmad, Jehad and Rashed will be present for the screening

  “The Children of Ibdaa: To Create Something Out of Nothing” is a documentary about a Palestinian children’s dance troupe from Dheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank. The children use their performance to express the history, struggle, and aspirations of the Palestinian people, specifically the right to return to their homeland. Through interviews and documentation of the children, ages 12 to 14, the video offers insight into their families’ displacement from their villages in historical Palestine, the physically and emotionally stressful aspects of life in a refugee camp, and the unique experience of participating in the politically motivated dance troupe. The story culminates in a visit by the children for the first time to demolished villages from which their grandparents were expelled in 1948. Directed by S. Smith Patrick (in person), 29 min, USA/Palestine 2002.

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