Halloween in Nablus!
Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of the entire year! So this year, knowing that I would miss the festivities in the States, I knew that I had to incorporate it into my class. In my class Art and Empowerment, participants learn about and do various art projects tailored to promote self-esteem, identity construction and connections with the community. Last week, I created a Halloween art lesson plan that was equal parts scary and sweet. When I asked the girls in the class if they had heard of Halloween, one said, "Yes, it's where you get a tree and put presents under it!" (A Halloween/Christmas hybrid does sound intriguing—maybe next year.) Using paper plates, cereal boxes, paint, feathers and glitter the girls made masks—some scary, some crazy, some striking. We had several abstract feather people, a Frankenstein, and quite a few flesh-eating monsters. After finishing the masks, volunteers from the local university led the girls around the TYO center for trick or treating. Staff members asked the trick or treaters to do tricks—sing happy birthday, spin around in a circle, hop on one foot--and then rewarded them with plenty of candy.
Through this project, I was able to get my Halloween fix, introduce my students to a fun American tradition, and get TYO staff involved with my class. It was a great way to bring Halloween to Palestine. And of course, here are the magnificent masks!
Ashwini is an intern at TYO Nablus and a participant in the Kalimatna Initiative.