Hi, I'm Dina. My role is to train the women to use their bodies, voices and work together as a team. I'll be cataloguing the trials and tribulations of the workshops as we prepare to lead them out on to the stage for the first time in their lives. We have 8 weeks. This is my blog - hope you enjoy reading....and check back for regular updates.
We meet the women in a tiny school/cultural centre down a narrow alley in the middle of Shatila camp. I am nervous, mainly because I'm worried I wont understand their Syrian accents compared to my Iraqi one. Once I have met some of them and had a chat, my nerves disappear. The women asked me if what they were going to be doing had any connection to the regime - ‘because we just want to live, we don’t want to get involved, we just want to live’.
In the next door room there are some art works on display by children who had done a workshop there. They created sculptures out of rubbish. There were a few animals but mostly objects of war - tank, plane, grenades, gun, flag and the most heartbreaking of all - a hanging corpse. When asked what it was, the little girl had answered ‘ a ballet dancer’. I swallowed the lump in my throat.
We leave the camp and I go on the hunt for some props I want to use in the workshops - bamboo sticks! I find - would you believe it - an Iraqi/Armenian bamboo factory owner who has plenty! What luck.