What a great afternoon we had during the ALCASA meetings on Sunday 21/5/2017.  About 50 people attended the sessions for Arabic story reading, “dabke” workshop and Arabic informal conversation.

We started with the Children’s Group and Arabic story reading. The children listened and enacted a story about a “scary” hedgehog قنفذ who was desperate to make friends with other animals. The story allowed exploring the theme of friendship and helped to learn plural forms for certain Arabic words. The story reading session was complemented by fun craft activities in making hedgehogs قنافذ then by some group games  providing opportunities to hear and use again the new words learnt during reading time. There were also hedgehogs قنافذ on the afternoon tea menu! Many thanks to the talented and creative Nadia who organised and led the reading session.

The highlight of the day was, of course, with the ALCASA Dabke Cultural Workshop provided by the local group Zaffit SA. The group dance dabke or dabka is quite popular throughout the Middle East. Usually, it is performed by men and women as a line dance at weddings, parties and community celebrations. Dancers hold hands and move in a rotating circle. It is a proud, energetic and joyful group dance enjoyed by all ages.

During the workshop, four amazing performers from Zaffit SA, helped us, the budding dabke dancers, to learn sophisticated steps and to practice more simple familiar ones. It was  lots of fun and we finished the session wanting to learn and practice more.

Watch this amazing video capturing the spirit of the workshop!

As usual, we ended the afternoon by the Arabic conversation time in the ALCASA Language Exchange group. Many thanks to Doris, Hanaa and Leila who helped to support the conversation in Arabic.

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the movies with the screening of On the banks of the Tigris: the hidden story of the Iraqi music on Saturday 10 June at Mercury cinema.

Fayrouz Ajaka

Note: All ALCASA 2017 events are supported by the Minister of Multicultural Affairs, South Australian Government.