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Ramallah, December 2016
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A VOICE ACROSS – NEWSLETTER FROM THE DANISH HOUSE

A BETTER LIFE FOR REFUGEE CHILDREN
Growing up in Palestine is far from easy, especially in refugee camps, where clashes, shootings and tear gas have replaced the joy and laughter that should be a matter of course in any child's life.

There are efforts, however, to move the lives of children in refugee camps in the right direction.

The Yafa Cultural Center, located in the Balata camp near Nablus, organizes activities ranging from theater, music and dance to scout groups and adventure camps. The center also offers psycho-social support for children and families with trauma or tension.

For this newsletter, we've interviewed the Yafa Cultural Center's Abdullah Kharoub, who shares thoughts and perspectives on their important work (please find the interview at the bottom).

The newsletter – our last of 2016 – also brings you up to date on a selection of Danish House activities.

Happy holidays to everyone – we look forward to many exciting projects and activities in 2017!

Lone Bildsøe Lassen, director, The Danish House in Palestine
 
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EMBROIDERY FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET

Eight female Palestinian textile designers gathered in early December for a 5-day workshop in the West Bank village of al-Ubeidiya.

The workshop aimed to enable the women to modernize their embroidery work and produce commercial products for the international market.

The Palestinian women were taught by Danish textile designer Josefine Gilbert, while her colleague Tine Winther helped with preparations.

The workshop is part of a long-term Danish House project, "Design in Context", which aims to empower Palestinian designers and craftswomen creatively and economically.

READ MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT
BRINGING HISTORY TO LIFE

In the first weekend of December, Palestinian researchers and theater artists met for a two-day workshop in the West Bank town of Beit Jala.

The aim was to discuss future opportunities for Oral History projects in Palestine. Oral History is about bringing history to life through research, art and theater.

The workshop was implemented by the Danish House with Dr. Faiha Abdulhadi and researchers from Al Rowat for Studies & Research, Al-Harah Theater and Palestinian artist Faten Khoury.

READ MORE ABOUT OUR ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
FUSING MUSICAL TRADITIONS

In November, Palestinian and Danish music conservatory students played concerts together in the cities of Aarhus and Odense in Denmark.

The concerts, which merged Palestinian and Danish music, were an outcome of a collaboration between The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Jerusalem and The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus. 

In addition to the concerts, the music students rehearsed together, recorded a CD and held workshops for pupils at elementary schools.

The November events in Denmark built on a long-standing collaboration between the two conservatories, supported by the Danish House.

SEE PICTURES FROM THE CONCERT IN ODENSE
STUDENTS STOPPED BY

In the last few weeks, we've had the pleasure of welcoming three different groups of students from Denmark at the Danish House.

Two of the groups were from højskoler, which are Danish public boarding schools for adults. Krogerup Højskole (photo) and Silkeborg Højskole stopped by for briefings about the Danish House and our activities.

In late November, students from the teacher education programme at University College Capital (UCC) in Copenhagen came to learn how we bring Palestine history to life through our Oral History project.
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MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ALPHABET

"It's been a great learning experience to come here and work out for myself what I think is important. For instance, I think it’s important that the children are smiling and laughing, even more than teaching them the alphabet," says Freja Orloff Mortensen (photo).

This autumn, Freja has worked as a volunteer at a kindergarten in the West Bank city of Nablus along with fellow Dane Elisabeth Vang Jørgensen. They have also taught English at elementary schools. 

Freja and Elisabeth's stay in Palestine is facilitated by MS ActionAid Denmark, Palestinian NGO Project Hope and the Danish House.

READ MORE ABOUT FREJA AND ELISABETH ON FACEBOOK

LEARN HOW TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER IN PALESTINE
CIRCUS ART IN PALESTINE

The Palestinian Circus School celebrated its 10-year anniversary in October by organizing a 10-day international circus festival, which took place in cities, villages and refugee camps across Palestine.

During the festival, the Danish circus project Cirkus Tværs performed in the al-Am'ari refugee camp in Ramallah (photo) and other West Bank locations. They were invited to the festival by the Danish House.

Cirkus Tværs is also featured in a Danish-language podcast about the festival, produced by journalist Lena Odgaard with funding from the Danish House.

LISTEN TO LENA ODGAARD'S PODCAST ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

MORE PHOTOS OF CIRKUS TVÆRS' PERFORMANCE IN THE AL-AM'ARI CAMP
IN THE WORDS OF A PALESTINIAN – INTERVIEW WITH ABDULLAH KHAROUB

Palestinian reality is debated across the globe. However, often by international academics, journalists and politicians. The Danish House in Palestine has invited a number of Palestinians representing different outlooks and areas of expertise to share their perspectives.


Abdullah Kharoub, born 1978, is a project manager and responsible for all international relations at the Yafa Cultural Centre (YCC), a non-profit NGO located in the Balata refugee camp adjacent to the West Bank city of Nablus. In our interview, he shares insights on the YCC's work for children and youth.

"We try to reach as many of the children of Balata as we can. In the camp, there are between 27,000 and 30,000 people, living in a quarter of a square kilometer. The majority of the population are youth – 30 years or younger – and more than half of the youth are under 18. These children have no place to go in the camp after school. There is no garden, no playground, no facilities. In our center, we try to provide them with activities that are different from what they have in the schools."

READ FULL INTERVIEW
 
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The Danish House in Palestine · Dar Ibrahim Street, 31 · P.O. Box 553 · Ramallah 98700 · Palestine

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