Dabke Youth Visit from Ramallah - June 2018

This is a brief report of this successful visit, which relied on the energy of our visitors and the support and enthusiasm of so manylocal organisations and individuals. Thank you!

Wed 27th The visitors arrived at Heathrow and then we had a welcome meal with all the hosts and organisers.
Thur 28th The group explored Oxford including the AshmoleanMuseum. As part of the Wolvercote Village Festival we were invited to the Wolvercote Young People’s Club. This was the group’s first performance in Oxford and there was also a lovely workshop with
some of the Wolvercote Morris Dance group.
Fri 29th We visited the Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museums. We had an introductory talk about the museums and a special viewing of Palestinian textiles and embroidery. There was aninteresting extensive discussion with the curators. The young people had the opportunity to explore the museums. This was kindlyarranged by the Community Engagement Officers at Oxford University Museum Service. In the afternoon we had a rehearsal followed by a visit to the circus at Oxpens Meadow.

Sat 30th In the morning we prepared for the busy weekend ahead. From 3pm to 4pm the dancers gave a performance and ran an informal workshop in the Atrium at the Ashmolean Museum. This was well received, with many people watching from the landings above and also in the Atrium. On Saturday evening we had a successful public meeting plus a performance and workshop in West Oxford Community Centre.
Sun 1st Cowley Road Carnival. The group danced throughout the procession with watching crowds clapping and dancing. They received a great welcome. Then we went to SS Mary and John Church for a well-attended performance and workshop which was organised by the Confluence Collective.

Then they performed on the Dancin’ Oxford Global Dance Stage to several hundred people.
Mon 2nd The group was hosted by the Refugee Resource Women’s group. This was a lovely friendly event with delicious food and the women joined in the dancing. This was followed by an Oxford Youth Dance company workshop at
the Old Fire Station.
Tues 3rd The group had a great day out in London: London Eye, a boat to the Tower of London and back to Westminster, Big Ben and a Palestinian restaurant in the evening.
Wed 4th Shopping for gifts to take home and a picnic and games in Oxford University Parks.
Thurs 5th Unite the Union tour of Oxford Car Plant. The group was very impressed with robots and this was a very stimulating visit. We then ran a second workshop with a local dance group at South Oxford Community Centre. This was followed by a group speaking to Oxford TUC, and rest goingto the Bowling Alley.

Fri 6th 10am for a reception by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, who was very welcoming. This was followed by a tour around the Town Hall,
and an impromptu dance on the stage. In the afternoon we visited East Oxford School to perform and run a workshop. The group performed to the whole school and approximately 150 children chose to join in the workshop. It was a lot of fun and the children enjoyed the workshop whilst learning and practicing a range of skills. 6pm Development workshop with the Oxford Dabke group. This was to teach some new dances to our local group which they can incorporate into their repertoire.

Sat 7th 2-5pm Faringdon Grand Peace Fete. The young dancers were the main attraction in this Palestinian themed event. Once again their performance was really well received and the young people joined in many activities after their dancing. The group were presented with a beautiful cloth painting to commemorate the Fete. In the evening we had a farewell meal and party in an ORFA member’s house.

Sun 8th We saw them off at Oxford bus station.