I love these videos by our friend in Gaza filmmaker Mohammed Al Majdalawi and edited by talented writer and MW contributor Jehan Alfarra. The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) has an article about an upcoming talent show in Gaza that highlights these artists and many more.
PHOTOSTORY: Gaza's First Talent Show
Gaza's first and only Break Dance team, Camp Breakers, share Mohammed and Abdullah's inspiration and dream of establishing a Break Dance academy in the Gaza Strip. They have started to use their art as psychological support for Gaza's children, and they are already conducting workshops across the strip. And like Abdullah and Mohammad, Camp Breakers will participate in Gaza's first talent show, to be held late February 2012, which is meant to highlight the talents, intellect, and struggles of some of Gaza's over 1.5 million residents.
Meet Palestinian Rapper Ayman Mghames from the Gazan rap team Palestinian Rappers:
Beautiful music and potent words.
Music is a peaceful way of resistance. It's the way we chose and we believe since we are Palestinian living under occupation since 1948 and we've been murdered and massacred by the Israeli army since that time.
We chose the way of peace..because we believe in peace because we want peace, we are looking for it, we are dying for the moment of freedom. As the Black People did in the United States....they were asking for equality, for their rights and they came up with this art, this culture.
It's not easy living under an occupation since 1948, living as a refugee in Tunisia and Lebanon and Yemen and different countries all over the world without seeing your own country, without meeting your families in Gaza or in West Bank. I was born in Lebanon and then I grew up in Tunisia. I lived in Tunisia for 11 years and I came to Gaza in 1997. It was a great moment for me since I first came to Gaza Strip. As a personal experience in the Cast Lead War in 2009 I lost my father. The Israeli army bombed my place by 4 rockets and I lost my father and my home. That's the way the Israeli army is dealing with us only using airforce, tanks, wars, crimes, massacres against Palestinians, against civilians. We're not an army fighting an army, they are an army fighting civilians. This is how it goes here in Palestine.
But since I lost my father my lyrics became more powerful, I can feel it. People, friends of mine are telling me since that time our music is getting more powerful. When I came to Gaza I was trying to be one of them, trying to feel their suffering but I was wrong when I thought that I had the feeling. Actually, I had this feeling since I lost my father, I became one of the Palestinians, a real Palestinian who lost his father, who lost his place.
But still our message is a message of peace, is a message of struggle against the occupation.
I recommend heading over to IMEU and checking out the rest of the amazing talent (videos and photos included) of the upcoming Gaza talent show. We'll be following this story and hopefully there will be some live coverage of the event. Big shout out to IMEU, Mohammed Al Majdalawi, Jehan Alfarra and all the talented Gazans participating in this event.