- Title: WEST BANK: Rappers perform at Israeli barrier
- Date: 5th April 2007
- Summary: DUTCH-MOROCCAN RAPPER ALI B WALKING ONTO STAGE VARIOUS OF CHILDREN FROM AIDA REFUGEE CAMP STANDING AMONGST AUDIENCE BOY DANCING WHILE ALI B PERFORMS ON STAGE VARIOUS OF RAP SONG BEING PERFORMED BOY DANCING ON STAGE
- Embargoed: 20th April 2007 13:00
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz
- Reuters ID: LVA64NQW7OYTAY57RXJ22L1Y4QJJ
- Story Text: A week of festivities was kicked off on Tuesday (April 03) with musical performances held near a section of the Israeli barrier at the Aida refugee camp on the outskirts of the West Bank town of Bethlehem, as part of the "Dutch-Palestinian friendship week."
The performances included renditions of Palestinian national songs and traditional dances performed by children and youths dressed in traditional Palestinian dress as well as Western rap music.
They were organised as a form of resistance to the barrier and Israeli occupation, said Abdul Fattah Abu Srour, head of the al-Ruwwad Cultural centre at Aida refugee camp.
"We resist (Israeli occupation) by using this method (music) which is beautiful, human and cultured, to show another face of the Palestinian individual and the Palestinian people," he said.
Dutch-Palestinian friendship week is aimed at bringing youths from both sides together to exchange culture and ideas. "Tulips @ Olives" is the Dutch-Palestinian association overseeing the week's festivities, which are organised in cooperation and with the support of the Dutch representative office to the Palestinian territories.
Ali B, a Dutch-Moroccan rapper, was the star performer at the checkpoint performance in Aida refugee camp. He asked the camp's children to sing and dance with him on stage, and many readily complied.
"Why would you party when you have problems? I tell why, because those (Palestinians) are human beings and in our country in Holland we only think they throw stones, they threw bombs, they are bad," Ali B said.
"I want to show them that they are human beings, the people who have bullets in their houses are human beings just like us," he added.
Ali B travels to different conflict or poverty ridden countries of the world and attempts to spread a message of peace and cheer youths with his music, he explained.
Many Palestinian youths have developed an interest in rap music with more than half a dozen groups popping up in the West Bank and Gaza, singing about the hardship of living under occupation.
The Israeli barrier means Aida refugee camp is cut off from Jerusalem and has access to the West Bank only through Bethlehem.
Israel has said the barrier, a mix of electronic fences and walls that encroaches on West Bank territory, is meant to keep suicide bombers out of its cities.
Palestinians call the barrier -- whose course encompasses Israeli settlements in the West Bank -- a disguised move to annex or fragment territory Palestinians seek for a viable state.
The World Court declared the planned 600-km (370-mile) barrier, more than half of which is completed, illegal two years ago but Israel has ignored the non-binding ruling.
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