Children Spring Festival

Ghanaian peacekeepers performing a traditional dance

A French peacekeeper painting on a Lebanese childs face

Interactive dance between the Ghanaians and Lebanese kids

South Lebanese kids at the Children's Spring Festival

Lebanese children enjoying a traditional Indonesian performance

LAF Commandos demonstrating a commando operation

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28 Apr 2013

Children Spring Festival

Spring in the southern town of Sultaniyeh arrived on 28 April with a special Children Spring Festival, which was visited by roughly 3000 local children.

The festival, in its seventh year now, was first initiated after the 2006 war, in an attempt to rekindle the spirits and smiles of the southern children, said Salma Fawwaz the deputy chief of the Lebanese NGO ALPHA for rehabilitation and action against illiteracy.

The increasing number of children participating and the need for entertainment and recreational activities was sufficient to prompt ALPHA to organize this event in cooperation with Al –Qalaa Union of Municipalities, the Liberation Compound in Sultaniyeh, UNIFIL Civil Affairs and several UNIFIL battalions. Planned for the participants this year were new performances, activities, games and traditional shows.

The children were received by Irish and French peacekeepers distributing sweets and Turkish peacekeepers distributing presents; French, Turkish, and Koreans painted faces and nails; Ghanaians braided young girls' hair; cartoon figures were dancing; and kids were challenged with concentration and balancing games. There was a lot of fun and joy.

UNIFIL contingent performances included the Viper dance of the Korean battalion, the Malaysian Zapin dance, Borborbor and Adowaa Ghanaian dance, Khukhuri Drill Nepalese Army performance, Punjabi Bhangra Indian dance, and the Jaranan and Warok Indonesian dance. With all the colorful dresses, well performed choreography, history and culture, tunes and drums, the children couldn't stop smiling and tried to join and copy the dancers.

Fifteen year old Fatima Haidar, from Al-Amelieh Association for Care of Orphans in Tibnin, said "this is the third time I attend this festival. What I like about it is the encouragement, entertainment, enthusiasm it spurs in us...."

The festival was concluded with a military show by Lebanese commandos, which was met with great appreciation by the children and adults.



Article: Hiba Monzer
Video Editor: Suzane Badereddine
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Photo: Pascual G. Marcos