Lynette Harper admires the good hearts of BC belly dancers. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, November 2015.
The generosity of our dance community is remarkable. Throughout the year, individual dancers and troupes donate their time and performance skills for a wide range of worthy causes. Others have initiated and organized events to raise funds addressing issues related to our community and our dance form. Local events, like Nanaimo’s annual Belly Dance Bazaar, support women’s counseling and advocacy organizations. The outstanding international Shimmy Mob fundraiser, produced and directed by Sabeya/Francesca Anastasi, generates funds for abused women and children’s shelters around the world http://www.shimmymob.com/about/ .
A growing number of B.C. dancers, acknowledging the close relationship of our art form with the Middle East, have raised funds for women’s and peace initiatives in that region. This October, dancers organized events in Vancouver, Comox (“Sanctuary”), and Campbell River (“Dinner with a twist”), in response to the appalling situation of Syrian refugees.
I’m proud to be part of such a caring community.
*If you missed these events but would like to contribute, consider contacting Canadian charities such as Oxfam (http://www.oxfam.ca/syriacrisis) or the Red Cross (https://donate.redcross.ca/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1951&ea.campaign.id=42451). The Canadian government is matching every dollar we donate “to registered Canadian charities in response to the impact of the conflict in Syria” until December 31, 2015.
*For a glimpse of the complexity of a civil war that has escalated with foreign intervention (some call it a “proxy war”) and a humanitarian disaster, see “Syrian civil war” in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War