Aida Youth Center in cooperation with Volunteer Palestine held the first ever talent show for the children of Aida Camp. The children got an opportunity to show off their different skills, from dancing and poetry to singing and music.
The goal of the talent show was to give the children a chance to discover and develop their individual talents and, at a broader level, to give the Palestinian people an opportunity to recognize their own strengths and show resistance to the occupation by showing that they have a voice that they can use.
As one of the children who performed at the event, 13-year old Taima Masaeed, put it, the event helped the kids by showing that someone cared for them and their talents just like it helped them show their Palestinian heritage.
The children had only trained for under a week with the assistance and guidance of the people from the Aida Youth Center who helped them practice for their performances.
11-year old Hala said that it was difficult at the beginning but as she got better through practice it became more fun. The training payed off. As Taima abu Jado and Dania, both 13 year old, said, when performing at the event they were scared at the beginning, but this feeling disappeared as they focused on their performance and forgot everything else.
This was also an opportunity to teach the children the value of teamwork and cooperation. In developing their performances, the children got paired up with each other just as they got supported by the adults from the youth center and rather than being a competition the talent show was meant to give each individual child an opportunity to show his or her skills.
The event itself was held at Aida Youth Center with guests being invited among the local community, the people from the youth center and foreign volunteers. Here the guests got to enjoy the children’s performances and were afterwards treated to cakes and refreshments. In the end all the children got a prize for their work.
One of the aspirations of the talent show is that it will be an ongoing occurrence. 11-year old Ikram is one of the children hoping to participate next year. She wishes for all the children to get this opportunity. As she says, the talent show has managed to create a place for the children to share their thoughts and talk about things affecting their lives.
8-year old Mohammed and 14-year old Khalid both performed at this year’s talent show and they both believe that there will be another one next year. As Mohammed says, we met children with great talent this year and this will encourage others to participate next year. Khalid adds that now that they have tried it once they are better prepared and able to help the children next year. As Taima Jado beautifully put it everyone has a dream. This will be small if kept away, but if people help you grow it step by step, then you can make it into your own story and make it huge. Hopefully the talent show can help make a lot of these small dreams into huge stories.