It is 9 o’clock in the morning and the rays of sunlight shine on the boys and girls in the kindergarten as they play. A narrator prepares himself with traditional clothing, glasses, and a fez on his head. The attentive eyes of the little ones are fixed on him. There is silence. And the show begins.
Narration is an ancient cultural heritagel and an artistic, simple and spontaneous production that for generations has been practiced in Palestine to transmit knowledge.
Faedaa Alledawi, 37, is a Palestinian refugee whose family comes from Al-Na’ani, an occupied Arab village in the Ramleh district, which was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. He is married with two children, with those who live in the Nusairat refugee camp, south of Gaza City. Your profession and passion: being a storyteller.
Alledawi specialized in storytelling. A profession that was born in the homes, shops, cafes and roads of Palestine, where people used to gather around the narrator, seated, holding a book. Calm and good listening were the protagonists. The reactions of the public had their place and were expressed with total freedom, a chorus that accompanied the joy, satire or sadness with which the narrator interpreted the stories.
Faedaa chose this profession by vocation, she used to listen to her mother passionately telling true stories, some made up and many legends. It is an art to which he has been dedicated for more than 20 years. With this spirit roams the refugee camps telling stories children among its alleys: “I turned my motorcycle into a mobile theater to attract children even more.”
The arrival of the pandemic paralyzed his profession, his life and that of the children and. girls who were searching for him conscientiously in the alleys. “It was not easy for me to sit idly by while locked up and isolated from the little ones by the quarantine.” His ingenuity, like that of millions of people who suffer deprivation of liberty at the same time, surfaced at the opportune moment and created “Windows”. A loudspeaker and a lot of passion were the ingredients that pushed him to continue telling fables and producing puppet shows from the window of his home in the Nuseirat camp.
His intention was none other than get the little ones out of mental exhaustion, boredom and psychological fatigue to which they were subjected during the home confinement. “That is why I also decided to share the stories and video performances on social media.” Israel’s blockade and multiple offensives in Gaza have led to a proliferation of post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorders and other related conditions. with stress.
The hopelessness for the youth of Gaza, poverty, the inability to travel, the coronavirus and a poorly equipped healthcare system have added to the cost of mental health in Gaza.
The power outages, to which the Palestinian population of the coastal enclave is subjected, even during the pandemic, made Faedaa’s work difficult. The internet connection fluctuated at the same time as his speaker. During the quarantine they had an average of 14 hours of light per day, but not continuously.
He solved it by scheduling the shows according to the available electricity schedule and with the support of some friends. “As a storyteller, I would love to have a children’s channel that shows how to develop the creativity and skills of the little ones.”
The return to life and the reopening of kindergartens and schools returned Faedaa to a new normal, which began to give theatrical performances: “I started with 240 performances that I did as a volunteer. Today I work with a team of 10 people. Our goal is to educate boys and girls and bring smiles to their hearts. ”
“I will continue my career as a volunteer because I love this art and whoever loves what they do does not abandon it. It is what gives me strength. Passion does not end, whether funded or not. Our strength is for our sons and daughters, We must not abandon them ”.
Telling stories is an art very important in gazati society. Rhythmic language, embedded in poetry, and narrated by a storyteller, in an educational and entertaining way, is the kind of theater we enjoy. “We love life. Our children love to live in an environment of security and peace. They love to play and have fun and live freely. I hope that at some point we will find theatrical spaces that allow the little ones to attend. free shows. Or one public library in each camp to provide them with stories and books ”.