Haneen Khaled’s moving post tells us that war children can still find their own peace and express their humanity, joy and sorrow through artistic collaboration. And I’d like to quote another war child – and Hands Up supporter – Ana Begovic, who said “Our task is not to fight, but to grow, learn, support and love – in unison”.
We perceive the world through our senses and we capture hearts through our warmth and kindness and we do both through drama and theatre .
One of the things I encountered throughout my work with the Hands Up Project is that, among all the arts , drama and theatre are collaborative, and this is surely what makes them so splendid and deeply connected to changing the world .
The Hands Up Project started as a drop, and now it has expanded to become the ocean in which all of us – teachers and students – dive deeply to explore ourselves. Now, the Hands Up Project has become widely recognized and globally valued. With lots of link-ups all over the globe, I can say that the Hands Up lets the whole world into a small room with lots of shiny screens and masses of children from all over the world connecting to each other, establishing their goals and painting their dreams together irrespective of how different their backgrounds are ! They interact with each other and flow together in a river of thoughts! Those link- ups go far beyond being only a learning tool and are also an outlet for those young learners in Palestine who were born to find themselves trapped into their country . However, with these link-ups , they are able to climb every mountain and cross every ocean to tell their stories all over the globe . Being connected to multi–cultural contexts enables them to stretch to places they could never go otherwise, and enables them to pour their golden ideas into other people’s crystal cups to turn into a kind of delicious nectar for anyone thirsty for creativity .
One of those very amazing link-ups is our collaboration with the War Child Museum ( a museum in Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina) which takes care of kids who live in the areas of conflict and encourages them to talk about their experiences and dreams . It was a remarkable day when our students in Gaza linked to kids in Sarajevo on World Peace Day and they performed different kinds of arts to each other . Everyone was overwhelmed with joy and happiness to see how kids from both countries are more expressive than all the masterpieces about peace. They prove that peace is when we combine feelings, emotions, dance, music and drama to share our humanity. They were the living proof that peace is the ability to entertain people and please them to the degree of seeing your happiness shining in their eyes and knowing that your own are reflecting the same joy. And that’s what we saw in the innocent eyes of those kids from both countries on that wonderful day!
That was a starting point, then we were informed that the museum wants to include a regular exhibit for our kids’ work . I feel so honored being asked to collect and document materials from our young people in Palestine to be shared in the museum . Those materials could be objects, drawings, pieces of writing, something they feel proud of or even stories they write or plays they have created or performed . I believe that we are all in this together and this is something worth putting in extra effort for . Therefore , if you are a teacher in Palestine and you would like to be part of this with your students , please join our Zoom sessions later in February to talk about it in detail and show examples of our work . For more details , please send an email to :
Thank you for the Hands Up Project and War Child Museum for watering us to grow and flourish together!