Last year, thanks to generous support from the Eddie Byers fund, Greenall Florent Books, Wendy Arnold and Walter King, I was able to go to Palestine on several occasions and run some short courses for UNRWA and Ministry of Education teachers on establishing and running English drama clubs in Palestinian schools. In all over 200 English teachers from different areas of Gaza and the West Bank took part and I’m so pleased that drama clubs are now very well established as a tool for extra curricular English language development, and as a focal point for Hands Up Project remote sessions with volunteers around the world.
Like many of the new drama club leaders, Haneen Khaled, a teacher at Asma Prep B UNRWA school, Gaza, used some of the time in the drama club to prepare plays for last year’s remote theatre competition.
Here’s the brilliant play they submitted..
And here’s Haneen’s reflection on what it means to have a drama club in their school
Drama : Your vision to the world
Drama is about possessing another soul while you are acting. It gives you a space to be who you are . It makes you fly out of happiness or collapse from total sadness. It can enable you to live in another age with other people. It can ignite your imagination to be the person you dream to be. And it goes beyond what people can already see, to what you want them to be able to see. It is not I or me, but it is we. Drama is about speaking from the heart – not only from the words that come out of your mouth. Drama is life as it is and life as it should be.
I can say about drama that…
Drama is everywhere,
It lets you feel and helps you care
It feeds your soul
It makes you sad or mad
It describes the life when it is good , or bad
Drama is your vision to the world
So, keep on doing drama – it is precious like gold
For all these reasons , we set up our drama club at Asmaa Prep UNRWA school “B” to give those brilliant girls a space to practice their creativity and dig into their own talents. They gather together to make the drama club experience highly enjoyable and incredibly rich. They work as a team to act, to reflect and to draw their wishes.
They travel by heart and by souls, away from borders and restrictions , through their online sessions with different HUP volunteers . Drama club students work like in a bee hive, ‘remoting‘ their own stories. They work in groups to come up with ideas, brainstorm those ideas , create characters, imagine events , write the scripts and finally do their best to make the acting believable and natural. Our drama club creates great writers and gorgeous actors .
In the end, I can say that there are no words to describe how great it is to be part of this stunning project. All I can say is thank you to everyone who spends day and night to make this project see the light.