Voices team from Palestine
Voices team is a part from the youth program where Tamer Institute for Community Education provides spaces for young people to express themselves and their surroundings using expressive tools such as writing, drawing, photography and music where the institute believes that it helps in confronting the challenges that arise in a conflict that deprives them from many of the opportunities that they could have and fights their cultural and humanitarian identities.
The Voices From Palestine team includes a group of young people between the ages of 14-20, who share their interest mainly in writing as well as other expression tools that all stem from their interests and keenness to have an important and effective role in expressing their community in international forums and by using the English Language. Also, the institute’s concern that the voices of the youth are creative and can reach the most geographically and culturally.
The group meets on a weekly basis through various meetings among literature, art, debates, discussion of surrounding issues and planning for implementation of youth activities and initiatives, in addition to the integration of the team in the various activities of the institute and more in the National Reading Encouragement Campaign in Palestine.
The team has participated in many experiences which contributed in enhancing the team’s concept and goals:
Twin-city project between of Gaza and Tromso
Since 2009, with the joining of Tamer institute with the partner institutions in the twin-city project between Tromso, Norway and Gaza City, Voices team from Palestine has become the main team that participates and contributes to the implementation and development of the project activities.
The project began as a cultural twinning between the two cities at the municipal level with joint planning and reciprocal visits. Later, cultural institutions were merged to enrich the content of the project. Tamer was a partner of the Tvibit Institution in Norway in terms of the cultural exchange between literature and theater. Posts in four major events between 2009 and 2016:
ROM performance :
In 2009, Tamer Institute and three cultural institutions in Tromso, Norway; Radstua, Tvibit, Kulta began to launch the first experience of the project. The idea was that the members of the Voices of Palestine team write texts in English freely about all concerns and issues surrounding them. The Kulta Institution, which is specialized in the theater, builds a theater show based on the texts sent by the team.
The first experience resulted in a theatrical play show in Norway translating and reflecting texts from young men and women from Palestine trying to tell the world about their lives.
Voices from Palestine performance :
At the end of 2013 and until the summer of 2014, the twin-city project took a new direction, with a series of videoconferences between the Voices of Palestine group and the theater group in Norway.
The second experience was a qualitative leap in the project, where there was continuous communication over the course of a year, between the youth in Gaza and Tromso, and among the trainers and administrators involved in the project. This has helped in forming a mutual understanding, since that the geographical distances and the cultural differences create a challenge unless they have been overcome through dialogue, communication, discovery and joint work step by step.
In a second experience, after a year of communication between young people in Gaza and Tromso, and their dialogue about their communities and their social and daily lives, they wrote texts on all the topics they discussed together and many topics that reflect them and their surroundings. In Tromso they developed the texts into a performance to the public.
The final performance coincided with the Israeli aggression on Gaza in the summer of 2014. Many of the young participants could not travel to attend the show which is telling about their suffering and dreams, but their voices traveled far to northern part of Norway and warbled there.
The concert ” it's never too late” :
In 2015, based on the success of the 2014 experience, the cultural school in Tromso communicated with the Tamer Institute through the twin-city project to build a shared experience.
The Cultural School works with a group of children with special needs who are engaged in a program to teach music using modern techniques that overcome their disabilities and overcome their limitations which prevent them from practicing their interests. The idea was that Voices from Palestine shares a series of the texts they write continuously, For these children to compose their own music after interacting with texts.
The musical concert was performed in the city of Tromso, which brought together a group of students of the school with special needs and others and presented their musical pieces with the presentation of texts from Palestine and a set of drawings.
Theatrical Show I am hiding :
The fourth experience is part of the continuous development of the body and content of the twin-city project. This experience has gained a lot of depth in dialogue and communication and making the pieces of the puzzle in a piece by piece.
In early 2016 a training in creative writing for stage has been conducted by the Norwegian trainer and writer Kristin Bjorn for the members of Voices over the video conference, the training contributed to the development of the members skills in writing
and accordingly launched a series of meetings semi-monthly and monthly for five months, a series of dialogues and discussions with the aim of producing texts from Gaza and Tromso and the construction of a theater show entitled I am hiding.
The texts and subject matter were the result of a process of exercises and discussions on the concerns and messages of young people from both sides of the world.
In June, the production was completed and staged in Tromso with a presentation of the rich experiences of young people.
Novell Gaza Project
In 2013, as part of the Institution's overseas partnerships, the Novell Gaza project, which was the result of an initiative of three young Swedes, came to their mind to visit Gaza, and launch a short story competition and print a book that collects winning stories in Sweden and will be distributed to schools and institutions and will contribute in making the voices of the youth reach far.
Voices team from Palestine participated in creative writing training, participated in the competition and won a group of promising young writers whose stories have reached a wide range in Sweden and received amazing reactions.
Tamer Institute for Community Education wins the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature. “The Oil’s Secret Tale” by Waleed Daqqa