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-what the afterworld will be saying about these days

Dancing Ramallah

Posted by Pia på onsdag 11 juli 2007

The Palestine International Festival of Dance and Music started yesterday. This was widely celebrated and all the VIP’s of Ramallah showed up for the opening show in the local Cultural Centre. My local friends spotted actors, politicians and news reporters, and everybody was dressed up and the smell of perfume was overwhelming. Before the program of the night (Irish dancing), the national anthem was sung and the main sponsor, the EU, had a representant talking.

The man started by talking about how important it is to keep up cultural activities during tough times. Fine. He then went on to telling the audience how much money the EU gives to Palestine, supporting not only culture but SO much more. I could actually feel how the people in the Cultural Centre became a bit awkward. People sighed, shook their heads and looked at each other. Of course, this cultural representant of the EU is not responsible for EU politics. But could it maybe be that what the Palestinians really need, rather than these millions of dollars, is recognition? If the EU took a serious stand against the ongoing Israeli apartheid policy, I’m sure the Palestinians would be more greatful.

Everywhere I go I see trucks, food sacks, buildings and more donated things with ”USAid”, ”A gift from the people of Japan”, ”Sponsored by the EU” printed on them. What if all these generous nations spoke up for the Palestinians instead of sending over their left over food and money?

The Irish dance went well, even though no one in the audience respected the first two rules written on the back of the ticket: Be quiet. Shut your mobiles. The last rule was No guns, and as far as I know, people followed it.

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