Sunday, October 31, 2010
By Eva Bartlett
"DEIR AL-BALAH, Oct 31, 2010 (IPS) - "I'd planned to have my wedding party on a Thursday night, when more people could come, and stay later. But because the Dabke dancers weren't free then, I held it on a Tuesday," says Mohammed Ghronaim, 27, from Deir al-Balah, central Gaza.
"Canaan Dabke is a talented group," he says. "But everyone loves them all the more because they are children and dance in an amazing way. Most of the people who came to my wedding probably came just for the Dabke."
Dabke, the traditional Middle Eastern line dance of agile steps, stomps and jumps, is still today an important element of Palestinian culture, and is virtually imperative to wedding parties. While professional groups abound in Gaza and Dabke is good business during wedding season, one group has made itself known for its unique style and energy.
Founder and trainer of Canaan Dabke, Yasser el-Izzerai, 31, lives in Deir al- Balah and started the group on a whim and out of his own pocket...."