Ajyal performance in Sidon. (Photo by Yahya Abul-Ola)
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Growing up as a Palestinian girl in the southern city of Sidon, Abir Abed learned how to dance by watching music videos on her laptop.Abed is part of a drama group called Ajyal – an Arabic word meaning generations – which was founded in Lebanon's largest Palestinian enclave of Ain al-Hilweh. The camp was first established in 1948 to shelter Palestinians who were expelled from their homeland. Aurelieu Zouki, a movement instructor who cofounded an association called Collectif Kaharaba, introduced contemporary dance to the youth at Ajyal five years ago. He said that though performance art is supposed to implicitly communicate a message, the youth wanted to adopt a more provocative approach. Hadi Kiblawi, a Palestinian teenager who rapped multiple times during the show Sunday, was one of Zouki's students. He said that he had expressed doubt about the impact of performance art, though he eventually came around. Perhaps just as obvious, is the positive impact Ajyal has made on the generation to come.
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