63 years have gone by...

At 4pm on the 14th of may 1948 the state of Israel was declared in Tel Aviv. On the 15th of may the British mandate ended, and within hours President Truman recognised the State of Israel as an entity.
Ever since, many tragedies have faced the Palestinians; they have been kicked out of their homes and off their land, being bullied by those who were previously bullied themselves.

The most difficult thing about the Arab - Israeli conflict is that both sides, and yet neither side is in the wrong. Something which is difficult for many to grasp, and even more so to accept.
The Palestinians have very little land left, and technically speaking don't actually have a country. They live on occupied ground (which Israel denies is occupied), in poor conditions with very little to live on. But they live, and remain strong. And they retaliate.

The retaliation is something which is necessary for them as otherwise they feel they would be trampled by the opposite force, but at the same time it is not something which is helping their cause either. The entire existence of the whole conflict is a catch 22, and something which I suggest you look into if you haven't already.

Both sides want the same thing, that's the problem. But what it has created is a very politically aware people, on both sides. And amidst all of the chaos there is still something which unites people all over the world, which brings hope - HipHop.

Throughout the past few years the popularity of HipHop has increased within areas such as Gaza, and within the refugee camps in places such as Syria - mainly amongst youth, as the older generations often do not accept it as an appropriate form to keep the Palestinian spirit alive. And perhaps some of the most inspirational people Gaza are the Camps Breakerz Crew (and their facebook). A breakdance crew of 10 people, aged 14  to 27, dance in schools and at shows to show that there is another way to let out anger and to get a point across. When I e-mailed them and asked them for an interview they were very happy to e-mail back and I have to say that they seem to be very kind, strong and passionate people. And I hope that one day there will be some B-Girls joining them too!

24 Year old B-Boy Pipeboy (Ahmed Ismail) met 24 year old B-Boy Funk G (Mohammed Alghraiz) at Nursing College in Gaza, both had come over from Saudi Arabia where they had started B-Boying. When Pipeboy suggest to Funk G to start a crew an idea soon turned into reality when they looked for the best guys around them - and found all of them in the same camp. The crew now consists of the following members:
Ahmed Ismail (Pipeboy) - The Manager of the Crew (24)
Mohammed Alghraiz (Funk G)  The Coach of the Crew (25)
Belal Abu Shaweesh (Fox) Crew Member (14)
Abdullah Alghraiz (Jarule) Crew Member (17)
Ahmed Alhorani (Don) Crew Member (17)
Marwan Abu Oreban (Barwan) Crew Member (20)

Ahmed Alghraiz (Shaark) Crew Member (22)
Ibrahim alashram (Chino) Crew Member (23)
Ibrahim Abu Rammadan (Dark) Crew Member (26)
Fahed Abualnemmer (Puma) Crew Member (27)

The Guys are inspired by all crews, but particularly by the Pockémon crew and the Mortal Combat Crew (And who wouldn't be? Have a look for yourself at the skills these crews have)

The Crew gives workshops in various places around Gaza and inspire more people to join in, they're the only crew in Gaza at the moment and are thus highly coveted. Every workshop a lot of people turn up to get a glimpse into this different world, a world where you don't have to think about anything but breaking.
I asked what inspired them and Pipeboy said: "Which inspired us to break is we feel that we can put our anger and we can challenge any thing by break dance, especially when it doesn't exist in our communities. So I think it's the only way which keeps us in the crew close to each other and like one family. Plus we send to the world a message that Palestinian people are not terrorists..."

"Palestinian People Are Not Terrorists"
With their breakdancing they hope to raise awareness about Gaza, to make the world believe in Gaza. They hope to provide a different mindset for those around them, to give them something to live for. Moreover, they hope to travel around the world, battling other crews and hope to welcome many crews to Gaza. They're also looking forward to setting up a Breakdance Academy and a Sports Centre as there are few places in Gaza to play sports - the ones that are there are always in use.

Pipeboy explained that many of the more traditional Palestinians are also warming up to the idea of HipHop - though they may not openly accept it they are always asking about and for shows. His thoughts on those who don't think HipHop is an appropriate way to keep the Palestinian spirit alive? "We don't care about these people because this is our own idea and there is nobody or nothing that can keep us away about what we are doing. In the beginning there was a lot to try and keep us away cuz its not good for the traditional but now how come they go and see them and they always ask us for show or something like that..."

When I get to more sensitive questions I don't expect an answer, but still get one - something which demands some serious respect:

What do you think about the 'peace' offers that have been made between Palestine and Israel?

I don't believe in it because I can't believe in peace and we live like this !!! we live worse than the animal from the hell blockage from Israel so tell me how we can believe in this peace ? But sure we hope to live in peace one day .

Do you think the conflict will ever end (Especially with the The 63 Anniversary of Al Nakba this year)

I don't think so - Israel will never end this conflict... We need it here just to live in peace and freedom. And Israel won't make this happen without any reason and they have always said we are terrorists but all of this shit is wrong.

But let's finish this off on a happier note - one of the crew's favourite songs to break to:
We Are Electric by Flying Steps: