On 8 November 2019, we had a workshop to teach Dabke to Mancunian community in Rethink Rebuild Society centre in Longsight. Dabke is a native Levantine folk dance performed by the Lebanese, Jordanians, Syrians, Palestinians and Iraqis (and, of course, on the Island of Crete, think Zorba the Greek!). It combines circle and line dancing and is widely performed at weddings and other joyous occasions, or even when we meet with friends
The that workshop was called Step by Step: Dabke in THE Dance bought by instructor Bashar Farhat. Bashar fled to Lebanon after being detained twice by the Syrian regime, where he ran creative writing workshops with Syrian refugee children. He also participated in various refugee-focused events using poetry, drumming and dance as ways of self-expression.
Participates were introduced to various types of Dabke and performed to the melodies of traditional Arabic music.
This event is part of the third annual Celebrating Syria Festival that took place between 2 and 9 November 2019 and included 20 activities in different venues across Manchester. Considered one of the biggest if not the biggest of its kind in Europe, Celebrating Syria Festival aims to reflect the richness and diversity of Syrian heritage and culture.
It is the Syrians narrative about Syria! Where we as Syrians wish to change the narrative from that depicted in the media as one characterised by violence, pain and suffering, into one where Syria is seen as a country that, throughout history, has contributed immeasurably to human civilisation and world culture.