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Keep Gaza Children enjoying Cinema

$21,020 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 15 months

Gaza Children Cinema - Update March 2018                           News and Aspirations

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In a local library in Rafah, South of the Gaza Strip, children are busy working on a white cardboard. They are creating their cinema’s box office. Others are allocating number stickers to the seats. Another group of children are in charge of distributing popcorn in preparation of a film screening. Children then line up to get their tickets before entering the screening venue; they stay quite as their eyes gaze at the screen; but once the movie ends, they are eager to talk about what they just saw and reflect on their first cinema experience. Some talk, some sing, some dance and some draw.
This is only a brief scenario of one of the 160 screenings we have managed to implement across the Gaza Strip in 2017 thanks to your generous donations. Below is an update of some of the major outcomes of the cinema’s Project activities last year.

Gaza Children Cinema: The idea was to create a peaceful, creative space where kids could be just kids—a space where a child can live a joyful moments while surviving the bitter reality of siege loss, hardship and war. The result was the Gaza Children’s Cinema, a project was born out of a desire to create a safe haven for children, and it is evidence of the magic of cinema—of how film can relieve suffering and provide light to literally one of the darkest places in the World.


A short introductory clip on the Gaza Children Cinema


The Cinema in 2017: In 2016 and early 2017, we managed to raise 7800 AU$ through our online fundraiser page and through other fundraising events in support of the Gaza Children Cinema project.

In April 2017, we partnered with the Tamer Institute for Community Education, Gaza, in order to facilitate the implementation of the cinema screenings and to allow the initiative to be led by the local community, especially young volunteers. This partnership was important for building on the existing community resources in reaching more children. We did not want to re-invent the wheel, no one does want!

Besides targeting marginalised areas for the screenings, we have successfully managed to engage libraries and to promote regular screening within library settings across the Gaza Strip.

In preparation of the screenings, the Tamer Institute held two training workshops for the librarians and the young volunteers from Tamer Institute. The workshops focused on brainstorming the best ways to make the screening a successful enjoyable experience for the kids, the choice of the films and training the librarians to use arts as a tool of expression for the children to reflect on their inner thoughts and emotions.


Gaza Children Cinema activities have been carried out across the Gaza Strip including border areas, marginalised children communities and refugee camps.


About 160 cinema screenings were held with the children throughout 2017. We have managed to reach out to hundreds of children each month through organizing several screenings at several locations. The screenings were held across the Gaza Strip in Gaza, Rafah, Khan Younis, Maghazi Refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, amongst many other locations.

Gaza Children Cinema activities have been carried out across the Gaza Strip including border areas, marginalised children communities and refugee camps.

We have seen children join the cinema sessions with their parents in inclusive and entertaining settings. With the support of Gaza Children Cinema volunteer team, these children had the opportunity to engage into stimulating and interactive discussion prior and after the film screenings. In September, and as part of our attempts to reach the most marginalized children in the most remote areas, we launched a call for proposals for initiatives around cinema and children. To our surprise, we received about twenty proposals from grassroots community groups. This has assured us that the impact of the Gaza Children Cinema is invaluable and is growing.

This project has been fully funded by charitable fundraiser events that we have voluntarily carried out. Either through food stall markets, various movie screenings or an online fundraiser page, we have managed to raise enough funds to keep this initiative going and growing. And today we are hoping to raise funds to sustain this project for another year.

This is a message of gratitude and appreciation for making this initiative real. Without your generous donations, we wouldn’t be able to reach many of children across the Gaza Strip, and offer them some moments of peace, dialogue, and entertainment. We are determined to continue in this track, this time with more commitment and enthusiasm.

Here are some photos from 2017 and early 2018 screenings:

A photo of children watching a movie screening in a Library in Khan Younis, South of the Gaza Strip


A photo of a cinema workshop, where we try to take the student through an imaginative cinema experience. The children here are performing buying their tickets to enter the movie screening.

During a cinema workshop with the children aged (12-15) implemented in Atfalona Society for Deaf Children. This picture is for the children while they are standing in a line to take the cinema tickets.

“What would a cinema theatre look like??” a photo of children in a pre-screening workshop on cinema in Rafah, South of Gaza. The children are watching photos of cinema theatre and imagining what would the cinema look like. Most of these children would have never experienced a real cinema setting.


A photo of children creating a movie poster for the movie they are going to watch. This workshop was held in the Red Crescent library in Gaza City. And it shows part of the activities Children engage in before or after each screening.


A photo of children creating a movie poster for the movie they are going to watch. This workshop was held in the Red Crescent library in Gaza City. And it shows part of the activities Children engage in before or after each screening.



Yours Sincerely,
Ayman Qwaider and Mohammed Al-Rozzi For Gaza Children Cinema Team
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Gaza Children Cinema - Cinematic Open Day - Gaza City (July 2019):

In one Gaza’s sunny days, Palestinian children boarded buses from different areas across the Gaza especially marginalised and refugee camps. Gaza Children Cinema continues to work toward materialising a genuine cinematic experiences for children in Gaza through organisation of “Cinematic Open Days”.

On July 9th, around 200 children aged between eight and 15 from refugee camps scattered around the Gaza Strip boarded buses and taken to the building of Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza City for a screening of the animated feature Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

This experience was unique and vibrant for many of Gaza Children whom watching a movie in a cinema-like venue was their first experience ever. Gaza Children Cinema organises movie workshops in local community-based libraries as well as at public schools in Gaza.

After the bombing of Said al-Mishal Cultural Center, the second-largest theater in the territory in September 2018, it was challenging to find out a similar venue to provide Gaza Children Cinema’s children with smilier cinematic experience. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society, located in Gaza City, was an alternative option which offers a proper screen in a darkened hall, cushioned seats and something that could be equated to a normal cinema experience. As such, Gaza Children's Cinema decided to make it like this as much as possible, getting their young guests to queue up outside, giving them tickets and serving popcorn.

Gaza Children's Cinema initiative, a volunteer-based group aiming to bring cinematic relief to young Gaza residents, to provide a “creative space where kids can just be kids” while surviving the “bitter reality of siege loss, hardship and war.” While it may have appeared rather unspectacular by Western standards, the screening was considered something rather special.
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Hello friends,

After the destruction of Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre last year, The Gaza Children Cinema is presently seeking to secure more fund to support organising “2019 Cinematic Open Days” where children can come together to joyfully watch a movie in a cinema-like environment.

Children together in their local community libraries to watch a movie and enjoy some quality time where they momentarily disconnect them from the harsh realities in Gaza. In order to materialise the idea of exposing children to the experience of watching a movie in a cinema-like environment, the team organises what is called “Cinematic Open Days” where children benefiting from cinema services across the Gaza Strip including those from refugee camps and border areas are transported to watch a movie in a proper screen in a darkened hall, cushioned seats and something that could be equated to a normal cinema experience.

The team in Gaza is determined to provide children with similar experience which is to watch a movie in a cinema-like space resembling to Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre experience in 2018. There are a limited number of places in Gaza to consider; however, they still remain at high cost of renting.


Your support is highly appreciated
Best Regards,
Ayman on behalf of Gaza Children Cinema Team
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This post is about the destruction of Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre (second largest theatre in Gaza) on August 2018 and the impact of such loose on children benefiting from Gaza Children Cinema activities in Gaza.

After the destruction of Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre last year, The Gaza Children Cinema is presently struggling to find/fund an alternative proper space where children can come together in our joyful “2019 Cinema Open Days” to enjoy watching a movie in a cinema-like environment.

On Feb 2018 last year, around 150 children (8 to 15 years old) from refugee camps scattered around the Gaza Strip boarded buses heading to Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre for a screening of the animated feature Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

The Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre, the second-largest theater in the Gaza Strip and located in Gaza City’s congested Beach refugee camp, was different: a proper screen in a darkened hall, cushioned seats and something that could be equated to a normal cinema experience. As such, Gaza Children's Cinema decided to make it like this as much as possible, getting their young guests to queue up outside, giving them tickets and serving popcorn. Children watched the movie and were then given space to reflect on what they had seen and how it had impacted them.

The team in Gaza is determined to provide children with similar experience which is to watch a movie in a cinema-like space resembling to Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre experience in 2018. There are a limited number of places in Gaza to consider; however, they still remain at high cost of renting.

The team was originally planning to host three Cinema Open Days. Due to the unexpected high cost, the team may have to decrease into two open Days.

We would appreciate if you could donate and share this call of support with your networks to secure necessary cost to allow children having a real cinema experience through organisation of more “Open Cinema Days”.

Caption for photos:

1- Said Al-Mishal Cultural Centre before arial destruction

2- A photo shows Palestinians holding the cultural center’s sign that once hung on the now destroyed building

3- A photo shows one of Gaza Children Cinema Open Days (2018). Children watched a movie in a cinema-like settings before the distraction of Said Mishal Cultural Centre.
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Hello friends,

Gaza Children's Cinema continues to reach out to more children communities in Gaza, Palestine. This Time and in addition to running cinema workshops in community libraries, the team has unprecedentedly organised workshops in five public schools across the Gaza Strip.

Teachers have stressed on the importance of bringing cinema inside of schools due to the need for such untraditional recreational and educational intervention which provides schoolchildren with safe spaces for self-expression. “They -schoolchildren- were very happy to live this experience of the cinema for the first time in their life”, Mais Saqqa – Gaza Children Cinema field coordinator.

Schoolchildren are given the opportunity to reflect, discuss and share with their peers the content of the movie which they have seen. Gaza Children Cinema aspires to put film at the heart of children learning and cultural experience. Popcorn was essential as a way of creating a actual cinema experience and enticing schoolchildren to engage.

Read more about Gaza Children Cinema: www.gazachildrencinema.org

Please share this widely and support us to continue reaching out to more children in Gaza, Palestine.
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