Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria
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Parkour in the Middle East: Making a Playground out of the Rubble

After witnessing the destruction of their towns, these young Arabs did not give in to the desolation. They have organized themselves into groups and have rebuilt their lives out of the ashes. Their talents and ambitions were not destroyed along with their towns. From Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon, these young people have taken to the walls to show the world that they are still alive.

To them, it is a form of rebellion, or street politics. To us observers, it’s a form of art in resistance or even art in persistence. This sport is not limited to only young men. In fact, women in Tehran have resorted to Parkour to get around the rubble. Although this sport is more adopted by young men, many women are using it to speak out against oppression and sexism. For both young men and women, the streets have become their theatre, and their bodies tell their story. Who knew that jumping off of walls could prove to be more than just that?

This form of self-expression is a great way for the Arab youth to use their time well and use the resources of their unfortunate circumstances for their own benefits. Maybe it’s time we all realized that there is more fun and benefit in our outside environment than there is inside a gym. Let’s all hit the streets and jump the walls of our social and physical lives. Don’t forget to wear a helmet, guys!


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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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