The March Freedom Ride (17 March till 29 March) has been organized with several grassroots organizations and is currently taking students, artists, and activists through the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills. This arts and educational event began this past Sunday, 17 March 2013 with an orientation at The Freedom Theatre followed by a night of music and Playback Theatre. The evening proved to be a great ice breaker for participants as they got a chance to learn about each other through the telling of stories, some experiencing Playback Theatre for the first time.
For the past 3-days participants have been in the Jordan Valley taking part in building and reconstruction work, tree planting, guided walks, and discussion groups while enjoying evenings filled with Playback Theatre, live music, Dabke, and other cultural events. After the Jordan Valley participants will make their way to the South Hebron Hills.
In preparation for the ride a Core Training in Playback Theatre was held in February, facilitated by the founder of Playback Theatre Jo Salas. Participants in this workshop acquired and/or strengthened their skills and knowledge about the philosophy and application of this applied theatre art. In an effort to learn more about the communities taking part in the ride and to strengthen our working relationship with community members, the Freedom Bus held a solidarity stay in February in the Jordan Valley in the communities of Ein Al Hiluwa and Khirbit Samra. The main objective of this event was to raise awareness about Israeli apartheid practices and to engage children in exercises that stimulate their imagination and creativity.
The March Freedom Ride has been organized to correspond with International World Water Day, held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation, and services.
This year, the Freedom Bus will highlight issues of inequality surrounding water allocation and the accompanying social and economic impact upon Palestinian communities living in the Jordan Valley. Day 6 of the ride, which falls on 22 March, will consist of an all-day solidarity walk from Mak-hul to Ras Al Ahmar via Al Hadidya followed by an evening of Music (featuring DAM, Toot Ard, and Ministry of Dub-Key).
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