Shoruq dancers on stage in Oakland, California in their traditional costumes

The show celebrated Palestinian culture and told the history of Palestinian refugees and daily life under occupation.
CREDIT: Brooke Anderson

In March 2017, MECA brought eighteen young dancers and hip-hop performers from Shoruq (“Sunrise”) Organization in Dheisheh refugee camp, Palestine to visit the U.S. People from California to New Jersey heard the voices of Palestinian refugee children in a and learned about their lives and their culture.

In a total of ten public events, Shoruq’s beautiful debka (traditional Palestinian dance) show celebrated Palestinian culture and told the history of Palestinian refugees and daily life under occupation. Between dances, Shoruq’s girls’ hip hop group performed their original songs about their dreams, their homeland, and the role of women and girls in Palestine.

The group visited fourteen high school and university classrooms where the Palestinian and U.S. youth learned about each other’s lives, political struggles, and dance steps. This was the first time most of the U.S students met Palestinians. And the group from Shoruq learned so much about racism and discrimination in the US.

All of us at MECA are grateful to everyone who contributed as event organizers, and audience members, hosting the children in your homes, classrooms, and community centers, as well as your financial contributions to support Shoruq’s work with Palestinian refugees. The tour was a huge effort and a very worthwhile one.

Shoruq girls hip-hop group on stage. Credit: Brooke Anderson

I Want to Dream
I dream to be a doctor
who will live through the tough times
of the situation we are living in
I want love, not violence
I want education, not ignorance
I want to achieve my dreams, not illusions
I want freedom, I want security
—Original song by Shoruq Girls’ Hip-Hop Group