BIRZEIT, Palestine—Music and laughter are all that can be heard under a circus tent in this town near Ramallah in the West Bank.
Students at the Palestinian Circus School are learning their skills of choice. Some juggle. Others dance hip-hop. Some practice aerial acrobatics, gymnastics and other performing skills.
The school, a nongovernmental organization, offers intensive training in circus skills to young people as an extracurricular activity while they study traditional subjects in regular schools. Many of the trainers are students too, at universities and colleges.
“The Palestinian Circus School is a space for every Palestinian from different cultural backgrounds, religion and parties to build one Palestinian identity,” said Shadi Zmorrod, the school’s founder.
In its dozen years of existence, the school has grown from a small local operation to one that performs widely in Palestine and beyond. This month it sent a troupe to London for its first performance there, on April 15.
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