In war torn and impoverished areas, children are unable to express themselves. Fear and shyness convert to aggression and violence, particularly among young boys. Performing arts are scarce in underprivileged areas of the West Bank. Sustained conflict has developed a culture of hopelessness that has a negative impact on entire communities.
After 4 months of training by Samar Zagal and other MECI counselors, students took the stage to perform a series of plays and dabke, the national folk dance of Palestine. The students performed in front of 200 parents, family, and members of the community as part of a village-wide celebration sponsored by MECI. One boy noted he was unable to confront his shyness before participating in the production and this activity helped him overcome it.
MECI Psychologist Ronza Abdullah asserted that the exercise was successful in helping children face their trauma. Parents were also eager to express how proud they were to see their children acting and dancing in a confident way. Principal, Azmi Abd Al Raheem noted that this kind of student performance hadn't been attempted, never mind taken place in over 32 years.
Overall, the production enhanced the relationship between the school children and the local community. It also showed how performing arts have a positive impact on the students' behavior by increasing confidence and leadership. MECI hopes to hold biannual recitals in the coming years but needs your help to hire skilled trainers and directors to increase the quality of productions in order to have maximum impact.