Gaza: “The Child Centre” launches Al Hakawati Club
“When we found out about Al Hakawti Club in ‘Al Qattan’, we were overjoyed”
This is how 11-year old Majd Abu Afash and her friends responded to the launch of “Al Hakawati Club” at The Child Centre - Gaza / A.M. Qattan Foundation, a recent initiative as part of Spring Programmes 2019.
Al Hakawati Club is a new creative space dedicated to developing children’s storytelling skills and enhancing children’s confidence through encouraging them to perform storytelling in different venues.
The idea of the Club is a result of the success and rich experience accumulated during the programme ‘Tales Clubhouse’ which was carried out at the Centre over five years. The programme developed children’s skills in storytelling through classical techniques and musical performances as well as puppets in a variety of forms, in addition to storytelling through visual arts and other creative storytelling methods.
After her experience in ‘Tales Clubhouse’, 12-year old Malak Abdul Hadi said, “I never knew how to be the storyteller [Al Hakawati], however after ‘Tales Clubhouse’ I learnt a variety of skills in storytelling, including controlling different voice tones, facial expressions and body movements.’ Abdul Hadi added, ‘It is the storyteller’s [Al Hakawati’s] role to tell stories in a captivating way and must have a fair amount of stories to tell.”
Her colleague, 13-year old Jana Abu Amer agreed and added, “Every one of us has a small storyteller in her/him, and I want to develop the hakawati in me.”
The new Club provides children with the necessary tools to learn the history of storytelling as well as Arab and international forms of storytelling. Participants will read a variety of stories and tales, and present them to each other using different storytelling techniques and skills developed during the course of the programme. The programme also includes voice modulation, performative skills, body movements and facial expressions as well as enriching their knowledge of stories and folktales through reading.