See more photos of the JAI participants at the festival
From the 6th to the 13th of July 2013, six JAI teenagers together with a JAI staff member participated in the YMCA-YWCA teenagers' festival in Denmark. The festival was attended by around 850 Danish teenagers, 50 international participants from the YMCAs/YWCAs in Ukraine, Macedonia, Hong Kong, India, and the Czech Republic, as well as around 300 Danish adult volunteers.
The JAI teens got to meet new teenagers, talked about themselves, about Palestine and through various means and mechanisms demonstrated what life under occupation is like. They participated in a variety of activities, exercises, games and sessions, as well as discussion groups and devotions. An international tent included a Palestinian section where JAI materials and publications were distributed among the Danish students. Many of the Palestinian teens were already known to the Danish Nørre Nissum Efterskole (NNE) students who had participated in a JAI program in Palestine last March. Together with the NNE students the Palestinian teenagers held a number of activities at the international tent to introduce people to Palestine including having visitors write their names in Arabic letters, introducing Palestinian traditional food and holding quizzes with questions about Palestine. Prizes of Palestinian scarves and sweets were given to those who answered all or some of the questions correctly. A movie of the NNE students' visit to Palestine in March was screened at the international tent.
Many members of the Palestine Network, a YMCA-YWCA network of Danish youth who have participated at the JAI Journey for Justice in Palestine, especially those who participated last year, joined the festival and communicated their experience of Palestine in different ways. In one of the their activities, they cordoned off camping areas and tents, with messages to visit the international tent to find out why this was done; it demonstrated the restriction of movement Palestinians experience through Israel checkpoints, the wall, imprisonments etc.
Many took part in, and enjoyed tremendously, the traditional games organized by the Palestinian teens. On two evening, the Palestinian teens organized Palestinian Folklore dance (Dabka) shows, where many participants attended and joined the dances, practicing some steps taught by the Palestinian teens.
Perspectives of the Palestinian teens on various themes were recorded in several video interviews and screened to the audience in the festival’s big tent, while the JAI staff member was interviewed onstage and presented a Palestinian Christian perspective on fellowship.