Dabke News: Dabke Helps With Unemployment In Gaza

Al-Monitor.com had a great article discussing how Dabke impacts life in Gaza, a bit of history and information as well.  This is a good Dabke Article for anyone that wants to increase their overall knowledge of the art.

“GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Every Palestinian wedding in the Gaza Strip is characterized by the folk art of fadous bands, which are male-only groups that perform at wedding ceremonies and whose members play drums and sing traditional songs while marching. Hundreds of unemployed young men are joining these bands to break free from idleness and poverty.

Nasser al-Yafawi, an expert in Palestinian history and heritage, told Al-Monitor, “These bands are named after the Palestinian Fadous family, which formed the first band hundreds of years ago. It reflects a Turkish tradition that was introduced to Gaza during the Ottoman era [1516-1924].”

Yafawi, who is the secretary-general of the Arab Intellectuals’ Initiative in Gaza, noted that fadous bands revisit old popular songs, while also performing new songs, depending on the requests of the bride and groom. The band members wear a red fez that is characteristic of the Ottoman era and a unique loose folkloric costume with a Palestinian kaffiyeh.

Mohannad Abu Zaher, 25, of Gaza City got married July 17 and had booked a fadous band to play at his wedding. Abu Zaher, who works in a furniture shop in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “Fadous bands are an important part of our wedding ceremonies. Without them something would be missing. It reminds us of our old heritage; the musical rhythm gives us a feeling of Palestinian belonging.”

Mohammad Abu Hamda, the head of Zohoor, a fadous band in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “As the bands’ work flourishes during the wedding season in summer, hundreds of young people have overcome unemployment and lack of job opportunities.” Abu Hamda said that his band is composed of 29 members who are all unemployed.

The latest World Bank report revealed that unemployment in Gaza is the highest in the world, reaching 43% by the end of 2014.

Abu Hamda said that his band can perform at four weddings in one night, as it is divided into four groups, and makes 800-1,200 shekels ($215-$320) per wedding per night. The price varies depending on the number of band members present, which is agreed upon in advance with the groom or the wedding planner….”

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/07/palestine-heritage-gaza-dance-bands-unemployment.html#



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