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Studio 8: Building A Sense of Community Through Dance

Together with Ren Shallman — a young artist from Tibet — and his brother Anas, Abdul Hadi Nahleh set up a dance hall in the heart of Amman’s Jabel el Weibdeh neighborhood called Studio 8. Abdul Hadi’s primary goal was to support independent artists and alternative art projects locally, regionally and internationally, and open a place for community leaders and creative workers to collaborate and work together.
A young, talented Jordanian dancer himself, Abdul Hadi thinks dancing is one of the best ways to express yourself and community with others. His passion for dance has allowed the Studio 8 to thrive, to become a place that houses a variety of different dance workshops, ranging from hip-hop to breakdancing and contemporary dance, all at a small fee to the general public.

Eventually, Abdul Hadi dreams of opening a performing art institution and bringing an international dance festival to Amman to support the many talented local performing artists, and to create a bridge to unite various cultures and people. There’s very little as international as doing an African dance class, taught by an American professional dancer in a little dance studio in Amman, Jordan.

If you live in Amman and haven’t checked out the dance studio yet, visit their Facebook page for more information. 

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Sami Haven

Sami Haven was born in Amman, Jordan, in 1987. His mother is originally from Yabroud, Syria, and his father is English born in the Caribbean. He grew up in his grandmother's house in Jabal al-wehbdeh, in the heart of Amman. In 2003 Sami moved to Al-Saru, on the outskirts of Amman, where he studied graphic design at Al Ahliyya University, graduating with the highest grades of his class. In 2005 he moved to Rome, Italy, where he did his masters in Photography. Sami worked with the world's most famous photographers like Steven Klein and Oliviero Toscani, along with many others. His works have been included in the Biennale of Venice directed by Kazuyo Sejima, Paris-Photo, and also in Tokio. After working in various editions of X-FACTOR Italia - making video clips for the contestants - in theatre with Fendi, and in the high fashion industry, Sami felt there was something missing, and so he decided to go to Gaza, Palestine, because it is an example of resistance and humanity, and to try and contrast the image constructed by the Western media that serves only the powerful. Today Sami is co-funder and part of an on growing conceptual group called Jasmine. A group united through passion against fear, a smell that's to spread out from the Mediterranean like a virus, to contaminate the world with Love, and heal from indifference. All can be part, and all shall be armed: Culture, Art, Music and Sport shall be our weapons of mass construction.

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