First international “Social Circus” conference in Palestine to help promote equal rights and community inclusion in Palestinian society

On Thursday 3 September 2020 at 2:00 pm till 3:00 pm (Palestine time), the Palestinian Circus School, in cooperation with Medical Aid or Palestinians (MAP), will host a first-of-its-kind virtual international conference, “The Social Circus: Promoting Equal Rights and Community Inclusion". The conference will shed light on how circus activities can be used to promote social development and to empower people in their communities in Palestine and around the world.

The Palestinian Circus School brings circus skills to more than 300 children and youth in the West Bank, including people with learning disabilities (referred to as intellectual disabilities outside the UK). MAP’s partnership with the Palestinian Circus School supports young people in Palestine, including those with disabilities, to change practices and challenge public perceptions of disability. By integrating people with learning disabilities in the circus school, the Circus School is promoting the rights of people with disabilities to full inclusion and participation in society. The School also helps increase participants’ access to physical exercise and activities in support of their overall physical, mental and social wellbeing.

At the conference, the Palestinian Circus School will share their experiences in integrating children with disabilities into these vital activities.  The conference will also include two sessions where local and international speakers from Italy, Afghanistan and Finland will present and discuss global papers on the concept of “social circus”, and its role in promoting equality and integration.

Mohammed Rabah, Director of the Palestinian Circus School said: “When our students come together, they create such an incredible energy of positivity and hope. I hope this conference can help inspire people, organisations and communities across Palestine and further afield to see the importance and huge societal benefits of an inclusive approach.”

The Palestinian Circus School will share the successes and learnings from its first circus performance of traditional Palestinian “dabke” dancing mixed with classic circus skills by ten young Palestinian performers which included five young people with learning disabilities. Through this case study, the School will discuss how the project aims to enhance the integration of people with disabilities in Palestinian society through art and culture, helping them to develop personal values ​​such as self-respect, tolerance, social responsibility and self-confidence.

The conference was originally planned to take place in Ramallah, but due to COVID 19 situation, the conference organisers have worked to move it online.

The conference is open to the public. To participate in the conference, please click the link below at 2pm Palestine time/ 12pm UK time on Thursday 3 September:

Join the conference on Zoom

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