Dancing, meeting, harmonizing in the Middle East and beyond
25 May 2013
"How can we have peace if we dont build relationships?"
-- Ikenna Ezeibe - Abuja, Nigeria
in DIALOGUE IN NIGERIA: Muslims & Christians Creating Their Future
"You can't make peace with your enemy, without your enemy."
-- Reena Lazar
Director, Peace It Together, Canada
"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning how to dance in the rain!"
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Dancing In Jaffa
DANCING IN JAFFA is a 2013 documentary about renowned New York ballroom dancer, Pierre Dulaine, born to a Palestinian mother and Irish father.
He returns to Israel to teach children ballroom dancing for social development in the mixed Jewish and Arab city of Jaffa, or Yaffo.
Dulaine believes that dance can overcome political and cultural differences, and applies it to 11-year-old Jewish and Palestinian Israelis
What occurs is magical and transformative.
Dulaine remembers: "We brought them together, but it was not easy.
"We had children spitting in the face. . .kicking
"They were covering up their hands; they didn't want to dance and touch each other."
"Ballroom dancing teaches life skill -- disciplines, self-esteem," recalls film producer, Diane Nabatoff.
"It teaches self-respect and respect for the other, and the one doesn't preclude the other. And it forces two people to move as one."
"So instead of just looking at a person and having a label on them, they become a human being.
"You're a partner with them; you have to move with them.
"You can't win a competition, you can't have the steps look right and look beautiful dancing unless you're working together," Nabatoff realized.
Dulain concluded: "It was the hardest, the most challenging project I have ever, ever undertaken.
"And now it is the most satisfying."
Ballroom dance teacher returns to Israel on film
BBC News - 08 May 2013 - 4-min video
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Dancing In India & Pakistan
Citizens of India and Pakistan Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and others used to living with conflict -- are discovering one another.
SMALL WORLD MACHINES provide new technology for live communication portals linking strangers in the two nations divided by more than just borders.
The women and men transcend their differences in front of high-tech vending machines installed in two popular shopping malls.
They are in Lahore, Pakistan and New Delhi, India two cities separated by only 325 miles, but seemingly worlds apart due to decades of political tension.
Coca Cola is not healthful and causes serious dental disease.
Yet, for this moment their people brilliantly contribute to our global health of relationships and spirit.
Strangers are linked with 3-D touch screen technology to project a streaming video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the unit to capture a live emotional exchange.
People from both countries and various walks of life exchange friendly tasks together waving, touching hands, dancing, drawing symbols of peace and affection.
There was a young girl in Delhi touching hands with an older woman on the Pakistani side.
And more spirited interactions including an impromptu dance-off between two men in their 60s that went on for several minutes.
"We couldn't get them to stop," said one organizer.
"And when they finally did, they were both out of breath."
Their simple, joyful moments of connection reunion are reminding them that what unites them is stronger than what sets them apart.
WATCH the compelling video:
SMALL WORLD MACHINES: Bringing India & Pakistan Together
3-min video -- 20 May 2013
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More music to uplift
A "Recycled Orchestra"
Children of Cateura, Paraguay, live in a slum built on garbage landfill.
A violin is worth more than a house there.
So what do these "poor" citizens of South America know for sure?
We shouldn't throw away trash carelessly.
We shouldn't throw away people either.
Creative people with love and courage can transform trash into music.
And diverse individuals into a community with harmony.
WATCH and appreciate this people-intensive -- not money-intensive -- way toward excellence together.
The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra
3-1/2 - min video
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These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at http://traubman.igc.org/messages.htm