It was wonderful to witness the enthusiasm and sheer joy that 15 girls from Gaza felt when they visited Jerusalem, took part in a drama workshop with young Palestinians of their age from Jerusalem, and performed their plays at the Palestinian National Theatre. But sadly the teachers who worked so hard to get the plays ready for performance were not able to be with them and share in their success, as their permits to leave Gaza were not granted. One of these teachers, Haneen Khaled, sent this to me after the girls had returned.
From Gaza to Jerusalem: The dream has come true!
With its adorable beaches , sandy shores and very tasty food , Gaza could be the most beautiful area to spend a holiday by the sea. However , the reality is not like that . Life in Gaza has become more difficult than one can imagine. People in Gaza are deprived of many things, including the simple right of being able to travel freely. But still they have a dream that one day everything they hope for will become reality.
The Hands up Project has succeeded in making this dream come true. 15 girls from three different UNRWA schools in Gaza managed to break through the blockade and make it to Jerusalem as finalists in the Hands Up Project’s remote theatre competition. I can’t put their hearts into my pen while writing this as it is an indescribable feeling when they were there in the most holy place in the world. Their heart beats say that the hands up project has made a massive achievement that deserves us taking our hats off for it.
I think this trip is not only a prize for winning , but it is also a space to connect the two parts of the world together and unify all under the umbrella of drama . It is a golden chance for those girls from Gaza and others from Jerusalem to put their hands together and sing for their beloved country the closing song ” Let us be together ” despite crossings and borders . In fact , they did it amazingly well . They showed their success and glory to the whole world .
When coming back , they were flying high in the sky holding their accomplishments and their gratitude to the hands up project and to Nick Bilbrough , the manager of the HUP who made all this come true . Abeer Al-khatib wrote about this , ” It was an enjoyable trip that allowed me to learn and get information about my country , acting and theatre . I will not forget this in all my life ” .
My last word is,
” Hands up project gives our students a space to tell their stories to the world
They gather to write and act to travel by their souls abroad
Writing a play become their joy
And to Nick Bilbrough , we say thank you ,
You made our dreams come true ”