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Palestinian Clown brothers entertain kids on rubble of destroyed buildings in Gaza

GAZA: Hatem, Yasser and Kenan Kullab, three brothers in the Gaza Strip, dress up as clowns every day to entertain children in the besieged Palestinian enclave on the rubble of residential buildings destroyed by Israeli jets during the recent 11-day-long intense fighting.
Today, they performed acrobatics for dozens of children near the ruins of Hanady Tower, hoping they can help heal the children of their trauma suffered from the conflict.
“We choose the places that were bombed and destroyed to help the children release the negative energy they gained during the war,” Hatem Kullab told Xinhua while joking with one of the kids.
“This war was cruel and intense to the young and the old. Everyone was terrified of the idea of death and destruction, and this feeling left bad psychological effects on the children,” said the 26-year-old young man.
“We are trying to put a smile on the faces of these children, who were afraid of the loud sounds of explosions,” he added.
During the 11 days of fighting, Israeli fighter jets carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Gaza, while the Palestinian militants fired thousands of rockets toward Israel, killing 254 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, and 12 Israelis. On May 20, Gaza’s ruler Hamas and the Israeli army reached an Egypt-brokered cease-fire agreement, amid promises to rebuild the coastal enclave as soon as possible.
The 11-year-old Yasser Kullab, dressed in a clown costume and a bright red wig, was busy entertaining the children and trying to encourage them to jump up and give each other applause.
“The war was terrifying and difficult, and we never expected to survive it because the Israeli air force continued to target civilians and children who are not supposed to blame for what is happening,” he said.
So far, the three brothers have performed more than 22 recreational activities for children on the ruins of houses, including dancing, singing and playing with colored balls in addition to acrobatics.
These activities come as part of a voluntary initiative launched by the Sindbad artistic group to give performances to children, aiming to help them get rid of the adverse effects left by the military tension.
“Now, we have the task of bringing joy and happiness to our children, though we were on the brink of death during the days of military tension,” Mohammed Nijim, a 20-year-old organizer of the event, told media.
Rima al-Amassi, a girl from Gaza City, was among the dozens of children who attended the entertainment show.
“I thought that our lives had stopped completely and we would never laugh again,” the 12-year-old said as she was watching a clown perform a children’s song.
“The war has destroyed our neighborhood, and it has become an unsuitable place to play or even to stay in for a short time,” Amassi added.
Fadel Abu Hein, a psychologist based in Gaza, believes that children are the main victims of all military tensions.
“Wars lead to disastrous psychological effects on children, leaving them with extreme fear, lack of confidence and insecurity, and making them more introverted or aggressive toward others,” Abu Hein said.
– The Daily Mail-Global Times News exchange item

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