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Tag Archives: kids
Parkour Kids of Gaza Strip Free Running in a War Zone Asphalt
Parkour Kids of Gaza Strip-Free Running in a War Zone: Asphalt
In the final installment of Asphalt, the focus is on a grassroots parkour movement emerging in an unlikely placeâthe Gaza Strip. With nowhere else to go to e…
By: Network A
BASHAR MASRI:Palestinians tell me that the hair on their arm stands when they see the flag coming from the bottom and they see it on top of the hill.
MARTIN FLETCHER:You can hardly miss it a thousand feet of Palestinian pride.
Among the dry West Bank hills about 20 miles from Jerusalem
Bashar Masri is fed up waiting for the politicians to build a Palestinian state.
BASHAR MASRI:We are in a hurry. I am in a hurry.
MARTIN FLETCHER: So this 52-year-old Palestinian-American businessman is building the first planned Palestinian city.
Securing an economic future for Palestinians
BASHAR MASRI:And I know most of my people are in a hurry. We would love to see a great nation for our kids and grandchildren, but we also want to see it for ourselves.
MARTIN FLETCHER: Masri has raised a billion dollars to fund the biggest private investment in Palestinian history.
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A West Bank toddler is recovering from a gunshot wound to the face; after he and his father were caught in a hail of bullets.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has reaction from the childs family, and the latest on his condition.
Rapid gunfire in broad-day light is what sent neighbors running for cover, and sheriffs deputies to The Gates on Manhattan Apartments in Harvey.
All I heard was shots, about six shots, said one neighbor who didnt want to be identified. So I come outside, they say a 2-year old baby was shot.
That 2-year old is described by family members as Byron Matthews III.
We just got a phone call to hurry up and get to the hospital to come and see because the baby had been shot, the victims great aunt Michelle Favorite said.
It happened just before 5pm, in the 1600 block of Apache Drive.
Investigators say the childs father had just picked him up from the sitter, when he noticed a man standing across the street.
He said he just got eye contact with him and then he started shooting, the victims great grandmother Martha Raby said. And he protected the baby as much as he could but he still got hit.
I watch out for all the kids, neighbor Annette Camardelle said.
Ramallah, West Bank – To the music and lyrics of Pirouette Cacahuete, a French children’s song, more than a dozen tiny feet glide across the wooden floorboards of Shyrine Ziadeh’s Ramallah Ballet Centre.
“Get ready for the plie,” the 24-year-old teacher instructs the girls, many of them dressed in pink tutus and glittery ballet slippers.
They all take their places using the windowsills as barres. The ballerinas giggle and jiggle, but with a little coaxing from their instructor, they assemble in a line with their heels touching in first position, their tiny palms pointed inwards, before finally bending into a group plie. Ziadeh rewards them with a loud “bravo”.
In this first specialised ballet centre to open in the West Bank, Palestinian children in Ramallah are being taught the essence of an art that originated in the Italian Renaissance and was further developed in France. Once a week for one hour, the girls some as young as three are instructed to bend, flutter, kick and hop – as gracefully as possible.
The city of Ramallah has recently become a hub for cultural activities. Before Ziadeh opened her centre, ballet classes were only offered by a local church. In addition to the traditional dabkeh dance, taught widely in the West Bank, some centres have also started offering modern dance, zumba classes, and yoga.
Located at the top of a building in the old part of the city – with roads pocked by potholes and small markets selling vegetables and meat – Ziadeh’s ballet centre is simple yet spacious, its walls bare except for a few pictures of pointe shoes and smiling children, its windows showing a panoramic view of Ramallah and letting in abundant Middle Eastern sunshine.
Ziadeh opened her studio two years ago after many months of giving free classes to children at summer camps and churches. “These classes were my litmus test,” she said, as she sat down after an hour of flouncy flutters to Snow White and Swan Lake. “I saw that many people were interested and their kids were enjoying it, so I decided to open up my own place.”
The opening of the ballet centre is part of a renewed cultural renaissance in the West Bank. Cultural institutions, which include art and dance, have skyrocketed from 48 to 577 between 2000 and 2012. Today, there are seven operational theatres and 10 museums, and almost all have been open or operated as part of independent, grass-roots, people-led initiatives.
Ziadeh herself opened the centre with the help of a personal loan from her parents, and the Orthodox church that owns the space is flexible when she is short on cash and has to pay her rent late. So far, Ziadeh has been unable to find an art-supporting, non-governmental organisation to help her expand after seeing an unexpected rise in the number of interested students.
“I didn’t expect such reactions from the community,” she said. “Many mothers came and saw the place and immediately the classes started filling up.”
Posted Jun 11, 2013
Female photojournalists cant be found in Gaza. Its a war zone and the nature of news is mostly violence, says Eman Mohammed, a 25-year-old Palestinian journalist, wife and mother who lives in the Gaza Strip and knows all to well about the struggles women face in the Israeli-occupied territory.
At the age of 19, Mohammed worked multiple jobs to save enough money to buy her own photography equipment while studying journalism at a local university. But when she landed a job as a staff photographer her colleagues were not exactly welcoming. I was harassed, threatened and abused by my colleagues, now Im more independent in my work style and dont mind the staring or the looks. I proved them wrong when I was nine months pregnant covering the second war on Gaza.
Eman says it was her own mothers encouragement that pushed her to pursue her dream, My mom, a pharmacist and single mother in a very conservative community, never worked as a journalist but managed to encourage the photography passion in me, teaching me the importance of capturing special moments and pushing me to go against all odds.
While Mohammed may have overcome many of the obstacles of being a female photojournalist in Gaza, the region still presents other challenges. Photographing the bodies of people I worked with a couple of days ago during the war was the hardest, I was shooting all blurry at first. Then you have the kids and their mothers, and that can never be an easy thing to shoot. Nothing about war is pleasant or easy. Honestly I dont think any photojournalist, male of female, is safe in such a place. You dont hear a warning siren and your vest with a PRESS tag on it wont protect you, not fully.
Eman Mohammed currently works as a freelance photographer and reporter in Gaza. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Mother Jones, the Guardian, Le Monde, and Geo International.
– Katie Wood, email@example.com
Three children from the Khader family bathing in their tub on top of their destroyed house in the Ezbet abed rabo area in the northern Gaza Strip. Khader’s family lost their house during the Israeli field operation during the war in Gaza from December 2008 through January 2009. #
A Palestinian tunnel worker is lowered into a tunnel in Rafah. Israel has maintained a tight blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized power in 2007 but is considering easing restrictions to allow essential goods into the area due to increasing pressure from the international community. In June of 2010, Israel pledged to allow all goods into Gaza except weapons and items deemed to have a military use under its decision to ease its three-year blockade of the Palestinian territory but resources are still scarce. (Photo by Eman Mohammed/Getty Images) #
A Palestinian security officer watches hundreds of thousands of Hamas supporters celebrate the 21st anniversary of establishing the Islamic Movement of Resistance (Hamas) in Gaza City on Dec. 14, 2008. #
Minnesota took a big step toward becoming the 12th state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.
The state House approved a bill allowing same-sex marriages by a 75-59 vote Thursday, May 9, after three hours of strikingly civil debate and personal, sometimes emotional speeches.
When the historic vote was announced, a roar from supporters bounced off the Capitol walls.
“It’s not time to uncork the champagne yet, but it’s chilling,” Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, later told supporters at a rally in the Capitol Rotunda.
The bill faces one more test: Monday in the state Senate where supporters say they have the votes to pass it.
If approved, Gov. Mark Dayton could put his expected signature on it as soon as Tuesday, and gay marriages could begin Aug. 1.
The emotional debate in the House was highlighted by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Karen Clark, a Minneapolis DFLer who is gay. She recognized her partner, who had come to the Capitol for the vote, and made a plea to her fellow representatives to support the legislation.
“Same-sex couples pay our taxes. We vote. We serve in the military. We take care of our kids and our elders, and we run businesses in Minnesota,” Clark said before the vote.
“Same-sex couples should be treated fairly under the law, including the freedom to marry the person we love.”
Minnesota for Marriage, the main group opposing gay marriage, issued a statement afterward urging the Senate to block the bill.
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House Speaker Paul Thissen, left, and Rep. Michael Paymar, both Democrats, walk by demonstrators on both sides of the gay marriage issue as they head to the House chamber to take up the gay marriage bill at the State Capitol, Thursday, May 9, 2013 in St. Paul, Minn.
Jim Mone, Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. Supporters already are celebrating the Minnesota House’s passage of a measure to legalize gay marriage, but there are a few more steps before it gets to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk.
“It’s not time to uncork the champagne yet. But it’s chilling,” Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, said at a spirited rally in the Capitol rotunda a few minutes after the House voted 75-59 to let same-sex couples start getting married in Minnesota come Aug. 1.
The state Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill Monday, and leaders expect it to pass there too. Dayton has pledged to sign it into law, and a spokesman said the Democratic governor likely would do so at a Tuesday ceremony.
Final passage would make Minnesota the 12th state in the country to allow gay couples to wed, and the first in the Midwest to pass such a law in its Legislature. It comes just six months after the state’s voters rejected banning gay marriage in the state constitution.
The bill passed in the House after more than three hours of debate that was emotional at times but remained respectful throughout. Many hundreds of demonstrators on both sides of the issue chanted, sang and waved signs outside the House chamber, prompting heightened security at the Capitol. But no disruptions were reported.
Rep. Karen Clark, the bill’s sponsor, said her only goal was equal treatment under state law for same-sex couples. In a deeply personal speech, the Minneapolis Democrat talked of the support she got from her own family after coming out as gay decades ago.
“My family knew firsthand that same-sex couples pay our taxes, we vote, we serve in the military, we take care of our kids and our elders and we run businesses in Minnesota,” Clark said.
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Hollywood South has a new generation of stars to look forward to, as several New Orleans child actors performed for an audience at Jaq’s Acting Studio in Metairie during a recent event designed to benefit the West Bank Boys and Girls Club and Children’s Hospital, and showcase local talent to professionals in the film industry.
Free and open to the public, the event took place on March 2 and attracted dozens of people, including a handful of local business owners, film producers, booking agents and other professionals in the entertainment industry. Donations were accepted for the Boys and Girls Club and the Hospital.
“These kids here have never even met me, and they put on an event for an organization that helps other kids. That speaks volumes for what they’re trying to do here today,” said Tim Joyce, unit director of the Boys and Girls Club in Gretna.
The cast consisted of 12 children, ages 5 to 10, who also wrote, produced and directed the approximately 45-minute long show. Each scene carried its own plot and demonstrated the actors’ abilities to perform in a variety of genres ranging from comedy to drama.
Many professionals in the film industry took notice of the talent, including University of New Orleans alumna Mel Caudle, a producer and screenwriter who operates LACA NOLA Talent Group, an agency that began in Los Angeles and expanded into Hollywood South.
“One of the reasons I came was to scout talent for the agency, and I actually signed four kids today,” Caudle said.
The children, each of whom is booked for either a film or television production, train at Jaq’s Acting Studio, located at 3121 Metairie Road and owned by actress Jaqueline “Jaq” Fleming, a Kenner resident who moved from Los Angeles to Hollywood South several years ago. Fleming holds credits in dozens of feature productions, such as “Contraband,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and HBO’s hit series “Treme.”
“Hollywood South and its citizens offer an unparalleled friendship to the film industry, and I think if the industry wants to keep that relationship, it has to find additional ways to give back,” Fleming said. “So that was part of our goal today.”
Fleming said that one way Louisiana might secure its dominance in the film industry is by cultivating local talent.
“Hollywood South has everything the industry needs, including very talented actors from inner-city New Orleans,” Fleming said. “With celebrities like Brad Pitt and John Goodman living and working down here, we have the abilities to groom the local talent into the future leaders of show business.”
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