This year The Freedom Theatre is reaching beyond Jenin refugee camp through new theatre clubs for young people, with the aim of empowering a new generation to challenge all forms of oppression and injustice through the arts.
At Tahil il Fatayat, a centre where girls and young women are trained in vocational and life skills, Ahmad Al Rokh from The Freedom Theatre is giving workshops to 13 girls in their late teens. The focus of the workshops mainly revolve around the lives of women in Palestinian society and the challenges they face. The girls share personal experiences as well as accounts of women around them, through drama games and exercises. Together with Ahmad they are working on creating a presentation that is part of their graduation ceremony later this month. Then, they will start working on a theatre production about the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Suha Abu Alhayjaa is one of the participants. She studies cosmetology and hairdressing at Tahil il Fatayat, and says that the theatre workshops help her break barriers with others and facilitate communication. “It has been very helpful for me personally, in creating an internal balance between my mind and my heart”, says Suha. “The training has affected my feelings and my behaviour, and helped me focus as well as to express myself and my problems.”
Suha and others in the group are looking forward to creating a production inspired by their own experiences as young women, and to share the message of women’s rights and empowerment with the community.