- Title: ALGERIA: Algerian street festival celebrates international folk dance
- Date: 10th August 2014
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ALGERIAN SPECTATOR, YASMINE DAOUD, SAYING: "It's really good to get the opportunity to experience other cultures. They come here for us since we don't have a chance to go see them. I particularly liked the Czech troupe."
- Embargoed: 25th August 2014 13:00
- Location: Algeria
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA50412Q49FGJBE8WZ0MYYQXHZZ
- Story Text: Sidi Bel Abbes, a province in western Algeria, hosts an international festival of folk dance with 11 participating countries, including Cuba, Senegal and Romania and featuring a Palestinian troupe as this year's guest of honour.
The Algerian city of Sidi Bel Abbes hosted a four-day festival ending on Sunday (August 10) dedicated to folk dancing from around the world, including dance troupes who came all the way from Cuba and Senegal to Romania and the Czech Republic.
The festival, which started Wednesday (August 6), featured the Palestinian dance troupe as this year's guest of honour.
"We are trying to bring our message through art and God willing, our message will reach everyone, that our people want to be liberated," manager of the Palestinian folk dance troupe, Oussama, said.
"Our message for the world is that we are a people worthy of living like the rest of the world, in peace and security," he added.
Performers clad in colourful, traditional outfits reflecting their country's culture and history walked through the streets of the western Algerian province, dancing and singing to a boisterous crowd.
"It's really good to get the opportunity to experience other cultures. They come here for us since we don't have a chance to go see them. I particularly liked the Czech troupe," Algerian spectator Yasmine Daoud said.
Other countries taking part this year included Turkey, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Serbia, Tunisia and Portugal.
Officials hoped the fusion of cultures could promote a message of peace and security around the world, especially given the month-long war in Gaza.
"This festival is an opportunity to unite Arab and international cultures, it's a fusion through which we hope to reach out to the world to make peace and security," deputy governor Abdelmajid Jerefil told Reuters.
The festival kicked-off with a performance by the Palestinian troupe at the Lakhdar Saim open air theatre. Audience members waved the Palestinian flag and flashed the "V" for victory hand gestures as dancers in traditional outfits performed on stage.
This year's International Cultural Festival for Folk Dance was the event's 10th cycle.
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