Inanna Charity project for the behalf of Iraqi Roma Village School
Inanna Charity Project 2018
Online Charity Project 2020 ( Scroll down)
Iraqi Roma village school reopened 14 years after destruction
In 2004, armed extremists attacked the village of Al Zuhour in Iraq’s Diwaniya province, 200 kilometres south of Baghdad, destroying the only school for the marginalised Roma community.
The 2003 US-led invasion and the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime had changed things dramatically for Roma minority, who had come to Iraq centuries before from India.
For decades Iraq’s Roma — also called “Kawliya” or gypsies — were primarily known as professional musicians and dancers invited to feasts, weddings and parties. But since the rise of hardline Islamist groups in Iraq after Saddam’s fall, the Roma have increasingly been persecuted, accused of loose morals and of participating in parties where alcohol was served.
The Roma suffered social exclusion and poverty for decades, even though Saddam Hussein’s government offered them Iraqi citizenship in the eighties, yet this did little to improve their situation.
Our Charity Project from 2018
At the beginning it was only an idea! An idea to help the forgotten Roma children of Iraq, the children of the Kawliya People.
Most of them can’t read and write because they have had no schools for many years. All of them are working as beggars in the streets. The first obstacle that stopped most of us from helping them was lack of access to their village as they live isolated from the rest of Iraq. Situation in Iraq in general is very difficult causing their case to be totally forgotten.
Every idea begins with a moment of emotion, but you can’t start a charity with only emotions.
Now the idea has a form, has a concept and while there is still a long and difficult way to go, our goal is still achievable and possible. When I read the news last year about the reopening of the children school in Kawliya village, I followed the thread and connected with the people who worked to make this great achievement that gave the Kawliya people a hope for better future.
The woman behind this project is Manar Alzubedy, an Iraqi humanitarian activist who in 2018 with the help of UNICEF was able to make it possible that these kids can start learning reading and writing and attending a normal children’s school. The last school was destroyed by Al Mahdi Army back in 2003.
After we connected and realised we have the same goal to help these children, the next challenge was to find a humanitarian organisation who could collect the donations without taking any percentage and could supervise the work that should be done in their village with local Iraqis. The village has no access to drinkable water, the children need clothes, shoes and a play yard with a garden, as the places where they live cannot be called houses.
During my last visit to London I worked with one of the charity projects of Iraqi women humanitarian organisation called Iraqi Women Association Fund. What I like about these women is that they are very professional in their work and all of them work as volunteers with no beneficial purposes. This charity organisation is registered with the government in the UK and has a team and connections in Iraq following the work they do.
I knew that they had many projects and were very busy working with them but I was really hoping that they would accept my project proposal. After I explained the situation of these kids, they showed a lot of support and they believed as well that these children deserve a better future. While they appreciated my efforts, they still had to discuss the project proposal themselves and make their own investigation to make sure that things are legal and the people who are going to work in Iraq in this project can be trusted. While the women were emotionally moved, they wanted to do things right in a professional manner. Although I wanted to get things moving as soon as possible, I felt a huge relief that they accepted this project that is so close to my heart. It’s important that everything is done correctly, following the legal process even though it takes time to do it properly. Iraqi Women Association Fund has a lot of experience in many humanitarian projects in Iraq. After they finished consulting with all the members in the organisation and concluded their investigation, I got an official approval for my project. They helped coordinate the donations to reach the Kawliya children and are supervising where the money exactly is going and how it will be used. So now it is not just an idea, it is an official project! We are helping these children have a better future.
The project started in year 2018 with the first Inanna Festival Charity gala in Tallinn, Estonia: all the money from ticket sales were donated to the fund. We also were selling t-shirts with the festival logo and all the profits from that were donated as well.
Our Charity gala in Inanna international Iraqi dance festival 2018 was successful, please have a look at this video report that we received, the joy of these kids is really priceless!
We are determined to continue our work with these children and our festival for this year will dedicate its profits from Charity gala again to the school of these children.
For everyone who wants to make donations directly to support these kids, this option is available – please check the following details
account name : Iraqi Women Association Fund IWAF ?
IBAN number: GB61MIDL40261242071363
Branch Identifier Code :
54Clarence Street Kingston upon Thames Surrey
ASSALA Alnakhil SCHOOL
Inanna’s Daughers Online Charity Project:
Unfortunately, due to the current global pandemic, we cannot make our Inanna International Dance Festival like in the previous years, in order to support the project of the Iraqi Kawliya Romani children school.
ONLY 35 Euro for all classes!
REGISTRATIONS AND PAYMENT:
Payment method; PayPal address will be sent to You once you have completed the registration to one of the 3 emails above:
FRIDAY 16th of OCTOBER 2020
h 19:00-20:30 (Paris, Rome Time zone)
ESMERALDA COLABONE – VEIL LOVERS
Techniques and choreography (2:55minutes).
SATURDAY 17th of OCTOBER 2020
18:00-19:30 MARYEM BENT-ANIS – TUNISIAN DANCE
Lecture and learning Tunisian steps and rhythms
20:00-21:30 AMEL TAFSOUT – MAGHREB NORTH AFRICAN DANCE
Lecture, The Amazigh dances and Chaoui dance
SUNDAY 18th of OCTOBER 2020
18:00-19:30 (Paris, Rome Time zone) JILLINA – SHARQI A LA JILLINA
Raks Sharqi in Jillina’s unique style. Choreography
20 :00-21 :30 ASSALA IBRAHIM – IRAQI DANCE
Raqs el Kawliya and Raks El Khashaba, Lecture and techniques
The Maghreb is the region of North Africa which includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. Since the 1989 formation of the Arab Maghreb Union, Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara (mostly controlled by Morocco) were included. During the Al-Andalus era in Spain (from the 8th inhabitants, Maghrebis, the Maghreb were known as “Moors.
Amazigh Berber Dances;
The dance is both a public and a personal expression, rich in symbolic dimensions that deal with universal constants in nature, fertility of Mother Earth and the communication between the earthly and the divine. In Amazigh regions women’s singing accompanies any kind of work, such as the harvest. Festivals provide the opportunity to see dances as a Unity. Traditional Amazigh dances are mostly ritual dances. Originally, they were a magical act, in order to obtain the fertility of Mother Earth or to ask for the rain in case of drought. The worshiping of a divinity or a spirit of nature was used in order to gain its protection.
Chaoui ‘Abdaoui Fertility Dance of the Famous ‘Azriyat
This dance of the Northern East-Algerian Aures mountains where Amel Tafsout was born.
The Chaoui people or Shawia (Algerian Arabic, Tachawit: Išawiyen) are an Amazigh-
Berber population inhabiting the Aurès regions located in and surrounded by the Aurès Mountains. They call themselves Ishaween and speak the Shawiya language. Historically, the Aurès
Mountains served as a refuge for Amazigh-Berber peoples, forming a base of resistance against
the Roman Empire, the Vandals, the Byzantine Empire and Arabs. Aurès was also a district of Algeria that existed during and after the Algerian War from 1954 to 1962. It was in this region that Amazigh-Berber independence fighters started the war.
The Chaoui/Shawi dance is called Rahaba; men and women dancing at weddings. The ‘Azriyat (literally, “Women without men”) are professional dancers and singers, who performed at various festivities such as the harvest, circumcisions, weddings and specially during the Bendou festival in order to celebrate the fertility of Mother Earth.
“Sharqi ala Jillina” – Jillina Carlano
Raks Shari in Jillina’s unique style. This choreography is full of exciting steps beautifully blended with expression and technique.
Move to various tempos and explore the rich instrumentation, This is a unique choreography to add to your vocabulary.
Raqs el Kawliya – Assala Ibrahim
There are few theories that try to explain the origins of the so-called El Kawliya. Most of these theories are not proven yet.
In our theory’s part, we will study some of these theories in addition to the history, social and political background of this group in Iraq.
This dance is of the oldest dances in Iraq. It is a dance that filled with a wide range of emotions which range from power and passion to joy and harmony. The rich emotions that are expressed are the fundamentals of Iraqi songs’ and dances’ heritage of the people.
Kawliya’s Dance Workshops cover:
-brief explanation of the roots, history, and character of the
El Kawiya’s Dance,
-basic technique of these style,foot works, shimmies, turns, spinning variety of head and hair, improvisation
We will learn how to command our body and our energy to make
our dance look fluid, but still powerful and fiery
Raqs El Khashaba
It is an Iraqi dance style that belongs to Basra city dance culture, in the south of Iraq. This dance was born with the music and songs of Basra’s seamen and ship makers. Over time this music and dance style spread in Basra city, and many music and dance companies came to life. Both men and women dance the khashaba, but in a different way. The khashab music repertoire goes beyond Iraqi songs; it also includes a lot of Egyptian songs, like the songs of Umm Kolthoum, as well as other famous Arabic singers’ work.
These well-known Arabic songs affected the dance style of the khashaba and enrich it with lot of oriental dance moves. These oriental dance moves should be adopted and melted in a perfect way for the khashaba dance style spirit and personality. Oriental dancers will enjoy Raqs el Khashaba a lot, as it will help them to understand how the same dance moves can be so different when we integrate them in the khashaba dance.
We will learn
-Classic basic kahasba dance moves; jumps, walk, turn, shimmies and some oriental dance influences on the khashaba
“Traditional dances of Tunisia” – Maryem Bent Anis
Teacher Maryem Bent Anis presents, for the prestigious project “Inanna’s Daughter Charity” by Assala Ibrahim, the traditional dances of Tunisia, with all her love for her maternal land.
Tunisian dances are completely different from Egyptian and Middle Eastern dances, their roots come from the ancestral tradition from Bedouin and berber tribù from North Africa’s Sahara.
We will do a voyage between the ancient history of Tunisian from Phoenicians and Carthaginians to the present day.
To understand the dance , before we have to understand the cultural environment and historical influences of Mediterranean invasions and after this we can dance.
The class will include double sessions: 1 cultural lecture and 1 dance class with dance steps practise.
About dance steps practise we will study the basic steps of Tunisian dance and their application on tunisian traditional rhythms. Prepare to work hard and to sweat!
This class will transport you among the beauties, sounds, and atmospheres of exotic Tunisia, a paradise nestled between Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean sea. Where history smells of Carthage, Ancient Rome and Ancient Turkey. All surrounded by the ancestral tradition of Bedouin and Berber tribes culture and their camels, always traveling in the desert dunes.
WORKSHOP for the “VEIL LOVERS” – Esmeralda Colabone
Dancing with the veil will add beauty and magic to your dance
Technique and choreography (2:55minutes).
We are going to work on turns, hip technique, and musical interpretation!