I tend to suppress my urge to write often. Sometimes it’s like binging. But inside this particular situation, I think it is a must. I have been busy writing mostly in Arabic because the topic I am addressing are strictly Palestinian Arab related, where I find the need to talk about the mindset of the street within the issues that are stirring the Palestinian emotions. Matters that are not necessarily related to the Israeli military occupation even though all that is happening is the result of two things that
cannot be excluded from one another: the Israel oppression and the corrupt Palestinian authority.
The Palestinians are finding themselves squeezed into this state of severe loss and despair. Young people are going out for free voluntarily deaths, and others are going to the dungeons of fanatic extremism within the growth of Da’esh that is being fostered as a result. And those like me, who am just wondering around trying to take a chance of anything to spread at least a word that can make a change in a positive way.
There is something outrageous in the ongoing outrage, and it cannot be left this way.
Two days ago a video f Birr Zeit University students went viral for a Dabkeh dance. The Dabkeh is the Palestinian folklore dance that one finds in almost every Palestinian household. Three of my children dance the Dabkeh professionally and are involved in professional Dabkeh groups. It is a dance that is expressive, heritage based and has a lot of feet stomping and movement. It is usually accompanied by folklore and national songs and music. Inside the current mess, it remains almost the only expressive art that can be reflective within the situation.
The video of the dance was a very regular happening. People dance Dabkeh all the time and everywhere. But what weren’t normal are the reactions on the dance. It was so extreme. Violent. And in many ways sexual. It felt totally unacceptable. People were in a state of shock.
Some months ago when the volunteers took naked photos behind the wall, the outrage could have been understandable, at least naked people were posting in a very veiled society. When gays went out on something. I can also understand. This is a homophobic culture. But when boys and girls dance Dabkeh and all this outrage happens… this is nothing but another form of Da’esh. It felt like Da’esh not allowing women to leave their houses or go to school. Or Da’esh imposes their pre-medieval rules on the societies where they violated.
There is this seemingly sexual outrage. Frustration in the tone of the insults. When comments focus on the pants, the women were wearing even though most of them were wearing veils, and in all respects, within such cold weather, anything but lesser clothes is worn. And yet. They saw “tights” pants only in their jeans.
The Dabkeh is anything but a sexually moving dance. It is very national in its tone and move. It stirs such emotions all the time. How come it became to so sexual in their eyes?
The fact that girls were holding boys hands? It is the culture of this dance since it was first started.
So I write this “outrageous” article in response, firmly believing that I should. Somehow, we shouldn’t leave the stage empty to be filled with all this craziness and fanatic calls. I knew if it were published on Palestinian media I would get my full shares of insults. But I was determined to do it.
Of course, I entered the gate of fame having an article shared with over the ten thousands times and viewed in double the number in a couple of hours. I was smart enough not to enter the site and see the comments of course.
If a young man and woman dancing folklore are becoming prostitutes what should I become with my words?
I usually panic from such insults. I panic from criticism, not insults. In this particular case, I felt it is ok. This should be shaken. We cannot allow it to go through us this way.
Whenever I think of my moderate regular friends, who panicked from the reaction over the dance. This is what caused my panic more. We shouldn’t be scared. We shouldn’t allow the darkness of fanatic thought and despair reaches us…
This is also one of the times when all forces of power or alleged power join. Thinking who is behind this?
It is the power of religion and state. The power of those who are killing and stomping their people for their power to remain.
As much as the people of the authority are watching the death of people in the streets each day and make use of this for their children to foster and blossom abroad or even here. Those who call for death are the same. We are watching those young lives perish, while they applaud death behind their screens.
They should go themselves and perform the death they applaud so much.