Despite being surrounded by the rubble of war, death and destruction, one school in Gaza, Al Qattan Center for the Child, found a simple way to help children of war escape the difficult realities of their everyday lives.
With the beautiful art that is ballet dancing, the little girls of Gaza are now able to regain a sense of the innocence they lost as children. In tiny pink tutus that are too adorable, young girls aged 5-8 are enrolled in that one dance class, one of the many classes that the arts institute runs to support children struggling with psychological and emotional trauma due to the illegal occupation of their land.
“The ballet project was a dream for many families,” Heyam Al-Hayek, the head of Qattan’s cultural activities, told Reuters . “They had been asking for ballet courses but we couldn’t find trainers. It was difficult to bring an instructor from abroad.”
Thankfully however, a Ukrainian woman who is married to a Palestinian and living Gaza was up for the job. The dance instructor, Tamara, studied dance and had the necessary qualifications to teach the children. Furthermore, Tamara was also able to relate to children as she too lives in similar circumstances.
That wasn't the only obstacle the school had. In fact, since Gaza remains relatively conservative, the institute was not certain how residents and Palestinian parents would react to the dance class and therefore, just to test the waters, the administration decided to launch a pilot program in the summer. The success was mind-blowing, as now 100s of the next generation's rising ballerinas are signed up and are on a waiting list for the class.
To brighten up your day, or your week, watch these little girls stand against the odds as they dance like beautiful butterflies in their own safe haven.