- Title: WEST BANK: Palestinian music festival highlights clean water shortage
- Date: 26th July 2010
- Summary: OPENING ACT OF FESTIVAL
- Embargoed: 10th August 2010 13:00
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Energy
- Reuters ID: LVA8SP43GVN413W5ARE0HPLIUOQ7
- Story Text: The Palestine International Festival for Music and Dance held performances in all major West Bank cities, including Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jenin, Hebron, Tulkarem, Salfit, and Nablus during the summer month of July.
This year's festival was dedicated to shedding light on the Palestinian lack of access to clean water.
The festival maintains that Israel's policy of restricting Palestinians from access to water is in blatant violation of international law and has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
The festival brought international as well as local performers to Palestinian cities.
The festival's web site writes that the introduction of international talent to local artists has "encouraged and inspired creative production by Palestinian artists."
It has also provided an opportunity for the Palestinian public, "to interact with the world's arts and culture," the web site writes.
"The Palestinian International Festival for Music and Dance for the year 2010, we dedicate its nights to every free person on this earth, and to our land, and our sky, and everyone on it," said festival organizer Eman Hamouri.
The festival has hosted international music and dance groups from countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Chile, Egypt, France, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Turkey, in addition to the many local music and dance groups.
The festival attracted large numbers from various Palestinian villages and cities as well as Arabs and Israelis from within Israel.
"This was to break the siege imposed by the occupation and to overcome the difficult conditions of movement and access because of the Apartheid Wall and the military checkpoints", the web site states.
One of the notable performances was Algerian-French singer Cheb Faudel, lauded as the "Prince of Rai", who performed in front of hundreds of cheering and dancing fans.
Faudel also performed in last year's festival.
"I am happy because this is my second time performing to an audience in Ramallah. I am happy because I feel that the audience of Ramallah loves to move, dance and be happy," Faudel told reporters.
In the West Bank city of Hebron, Shadia Mansour, referred to as "the First Lady of Arabic Hip Hop", rapped in Arabic wearing a traditional embroidered Palestinian dress.
Mansour was born in the United Kingdom to Palestinian parents. She has been to the West Bank several times for performances and visits.
She sings and raps in Arabic and English.
"I chose a nationalistic theme because as a Palestinian living abroad, this is what brings me closer to our history, heritage, and culture. And I am very proud of our heritage and culture. Everything Arab and Palestinian, I am proud of," she told Reuters Television.
The 12th Palestinian International Festival for Music and Dance started on Monday (July 19) and came to a closing on Saturday (July 24).
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