Over the past few days, Aida has been filled with bright smiles and light-hearted laughter as the musicians from Zoo Posse and the clowns and circus group from Pallasos en Rebeldía paid us a visit as Festiclown – Circus Against Occupation made their tour around the West Bank.
On Friday, the 21st of September, Zoo Posse and the circus began their shenanigans in the streets in front of Lajee Center. The musicians trumpeted away while the clowns climbed up a huge metal structure, performing silly stunts, making the crowd roar with laughter.
Soon a crowd of young and old gathered and the whole entourage paraded through the camp towards the Alrowwad Cultural Arts Center.
There, the young musicians of Alrowwad and Lajee showcased their musical skills before welcoming Zoo Posse to the stage.
Zoo Posse pumped up the crowd with their upbeat tunes while the clowns danced energetically with the audience. They created a hopeful and joyous atmosphere filled with contagious laughter and candid smiles.
The festivities carried on well till the sun went down. It was a lovely and heartening experience standing together with the Spanish performers in solidarity against the occupation.
On the morning of the 24th of September, Lajee Center and Festiclown visited Ecole des Frères in the city of Bethlehem. The school children were ecstatic and thrilled to have such fun visitors in the school.
They could take part in creative arts as well as in some fun and games.
The children also really enjoyed having their faces painted.
The circus performers ended the day with a bang, mesmerising the students with their acts.
That evening, Festiclown had its final performance in Bethlehem in the soccer pitch behind Lajee center. As the event was starting and our director, Salah Ajarma, was making an opening statement, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) shot a can of tear gas which narrowly missed the soccer pitch. Nevertheless, the clowns and the community of Aida were more motivated than ever to carry on with the festivities.
The children of Aida got to have their faces painted, played games, and danced around on that fun-filled evening.
Then jugglers, acrobats and clowns captivated the crowds with their circus tricks and performances.
One of the acrobats performed a piece whereby she broke down a replica of the apartheid wall. It was moving to know that they stood in camaraderie with us against the injustices and violations of human rights that we are facing.
The children wanted to join in on tearing the wall down.
Thank you Festiclown, Pallasos en Rebeldía, and Zoo Posse for visiting us! All the smiles and laughter they shared with us will always be greatly appreciated and we eagerly anticipate their return to Palestine and to Aida Camp again. Thank you for standing side by side in solidarity with us against the ongoing occupation.