In recognition of International Women’s Day this year, the CRP community center hosted an Iraqi Dance Workshop for women. The event brought together individuals from all over Amman as Iraqi refugee women living in our East Amman community taught traditional Iraqi dance. Although the age range varied from 3-year old Noor to senior members of the community, everyone was all smiles throughout the night!
Celebrations of International Women’s Day on March 8th of every year started in the early 1900’ss as a way to commemorate and respect the economic, political, and social contributions of women in society. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as an UN Day for women’s rights in 1977, and continues to be celebrated today around the world. Every year, the UN promotes a different theme for the March 8th celebrations – and in 2016, the theme was “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” As such, to honor both International Women’s Day and the resilient and powerful women involved in our center, Collateral Repair Project held our dance workshop. Through the workshop, women in our community had the chance to embrace and share their culture and heritage.
The event started off with introductions and a brief speech by CRP’s Programs and Administration Manager. Soon after, our newly-minted dance teachers demostrated traditional Iraqi dance, focusing on Qawliya dance. This type of dance involves lots of hip and shoulder movement and complicated head movements as well – it took a while for most Iraqi dance novices to catch on! Through demonstration and then step-by-step tutoring, attendees slowly got the hang of some Qawliya steps.
After some Iraqi dance, women at the dance workshop began demonstrating other regional types of dance, starting with the Palestinian Dabka! Danced in a line with each dancer holding hands, learning the Dabka was a fun way to share parts of local culture with the Iraqi refugee women in our community. With an exchange of dance and culture (and lots of laughter to boot), CRP’s IWD Dance Workshop provided a safe and fun space for women to express themselves. One beneficiary commented after the two-hour event, “I had such a fun time with my friends, I hope we can do this every month!”