- Title: Wheelchair-bound Dabke lovers hit the dance floor in Gaza
- Date: 2nd July 2019
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DABKE TRAINER, HANY FATAYER, LEADING GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AT AL-SALAM SPORTS CLUB TRAINEES ON WHEELCHAIRS DURING TRAINING TO DANCE DABKE VARIOUS OF DANCER AND LEADER OF DABKE DANCE TROUPE, ABEER AL-HIRAKLI, DURING TRAINING TRAINING SESSION IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 16th July 2019 13:51
- Keywords: Palestinians Gaza Dabke People with Disabilities People on wheelchairs dancing dabke
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001AM34FV9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Confined to a wheelchair, Gaza-based Abeer al-Hirakli is adamant to impress fellow Palestinians with her dazzling dabke moves.
The traditional Palestinian dance involves synchronised steps that depend mainly on the movement of the feet, but Hirakli's passion convinced a dabke trainer to replace them with shoulders and hand movements.
Hirakli is now leading a 10-member dance troupe of wheelchair-bound Palestinians in the besieged strip.
She met them and dabke trainer, Hany Fatayer, at al-Salam sports club, a facility offering its services exclusively for people with disabilities.
Founded in 2004, the non-profit club aims to integrate people with disabilities in sports.
For years, Hirakli ignored "looks of pity" from people around her and started fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a professional dabke dancer.
"They all wanted to help me but it was difficult. Dabke depends mainly on the movement of the feet. However, the idea grew up as I grew up," she said.
The 25-year-old university graduate and the rest of the troupe have been training for 10 months.
For trainer Hany Fatayer, adjusting the dance to accommodate their disability was a challenge in the beginning.
Hirakli's future plans involve performing in events across Gaza with the rest of her troupe.
(Production: Mohammed Shanna, Arafat Barbakh, Wafa Abu Mized, Suheir el Sheikh, Roleen Tafakji)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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